In 1864 Alexandra (as it was then known) was set up as a British army military base next to the Waipa River and was intended to be the capital of the region. It was named for Alexandra, the wife of King Edward VII.
Three redoubts were built in Alexandra. They contained stores, boat landings, buildings, tent sites, a hospital and military accommodation. By the late 1860’s it had become a busy, fully serviced frontier town. The name change to Pirongia came at the turn of the Century to avoid confusion with Alexandra in the South Island.
Later, Te Awamutu was developed as a main town and Pirongia shrank to become the small village which it remains today. A new bridge now crosses the Waipa River to replace older ones destroyed in floods and an esplanade walkway has been developed along the river banks