Pahiatua is a rural service town in the south-eastern North Island of New Zealand with an urban and rural population of over 4,000. It is between Masterton and Woodville on State Highway 2 and the Wairarapa Line railway, 60 kilometres (37 mi) north of Masterton and 30 kilometres (19 mi) east of Palmerston North. It is usually regarded as being in the Northern Wairarapa, but for local government purposes it is in the Tararua District, which encompasses Eketahuna, Pahiatua, Woodville and Dannevirke.
Unusually for a town of its size Pahiatua has retained several amenities that were lost to similar towns around New Zealand in the 1980s and 1990s, in particular banking, postal services, and a cinema. The town is served by three banks, a post office, a supermarket, four schools (3 Primary, 1 Secondary), a volunteer fire brigade, and a public library.