From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Tauranga is the most populous city in the Bay of Plenty region, in the North
Island of New Zealand. Settled by Europeans in the early 19th century, and
constituted as a city in 1963, Tauranga City is the fifth largest urban area
in New Zealand, with an urban population of 118,200 (June 2009 estimate).
The city lies in the north-western corner of the Bay of Plenty, on the
south-eastern edge of the Tauranga Harbour. The city expands over an area of
168 square kilometres (65 sq mi), and encompases the communities of (west to
east) Bethlehem, Matua, Otumoetai, Greerton, central Tauranga, Maungatapu,
Welcome Bay, Mount Maunganui, Bayfair, and Papamoa.
Tauranga is one of New Zealand's main centers for business, international
trade, culture, fashion, horticultural science, education and entertainment.
It is home to renowned institutions covering a broad range of professional
and cultural fields, and is one of the most substantial economic places,
with the largest port in New Zealand, the Port of Tauranga.
Tauranga is one of New Zealand's fastest growing cities, with a 14% increase
in population between the 2001 census and the 2006 census.
The earliest known settlers arrived in Tauranga from the Takitimu and the
Mataatua waka in the 12th century.
Traders in flax were active in the Bay of Plenty during the 1830s; some were
transient, others married local women and settled permanently. The first
permanent trader was James Farrow, who traveled to Tauranga in 1829,
obtaining flax fibre for Australian merchants in exchange for muskets and
gunpowder. Farrow acquired half an acre of land on 10 January 1838 at
Otumoetai Pā from the chiefs Tupaea, Tangimoana and Te Omanu, the earliest
authenticated land purchase in the Bay of Plenty.
During the 1820s, missionaries from the Bay of Islands visited the Tauranga
district to obtain supplies of potatoes, pigs and flax. In 1840, a Catholic
mission station was established. Bishop Pompallier was given land within the
palisades of Otumoetai Pā for a church and a presbytery. The mission station
closed in 1863 due to land wars in the Waikato district.
New Zealand land wars
The Tauranga Campaign took place in and around Tauranga from 21 January to
21 June 1864, during the land wars. The Battle of Gate Pa is the best known.
The population at the June 2009 estimate was 118,200: the city has tripled
in size in a little over 25 years. The population increase is due mostly to
retirees and to sun and surf seekers. It is also a popular lifestyle city.
Although the population has increased dramatically, the city is
proportionally underrepresented in businesses other than retail, which is
over-saturated, and the CBD reflects a city of less than half its population
This is mainly because many outer suburb areas have shopping centres,
including Fraser Cove, Fashion Island and Palm Beach Plaza, spreading retail
dollars thin as property values and rents are very high.
Under the Local Government (Tauranga City Council) Order 2003, Tauranga
became legally a city for a second time, from 1 March 2004.
Tauranga is located around a large harbour that extends along the western
Bay of Plenty, and is protected by Matakana Island and the extinct volcano
Situated along a faultline, Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty experience
infrequent seismic activity, and there are a few volcanoes around the area
(mainly dormant). The most notable of these are White Island and Mauao
(Mount Maunganui), nicknamed "The Mount" by locals).
Due to its sheltered position on the east coast, Tauranga enjoys a warm, dry
climate. This has made it a popular location to retire to. During the summer
months the population swells as the holidaymakers descend on the city,
especially along the popular white coastal surf beaches from Mount Maunganui
Tauranga is the ninth largest New Zealand city and the centre of the fifth
largest urban area, recently overtaking Dunedin urban area (Dunedin City
still has a larger territorial population), growing at a rate of 1.5% in
In 1976, Tauranga was a medium-sized urban area, with a population of around
48,000, smaller than Napier or Invercargill. The completion of a harbour
bridge in 1988 brought Tauranga and 'the Mount' closer (they amalgamated in
1989) and has promoted growth in both parts of the enlarged city. In 1996
Tauranga's population was 82,092 and by 2006 it had reached 103,635.
In 2006, 17.4% of the population was aged 65 or over, compared to 12.3%
nationally, but there are many in their teens and twenties. The city hosts
five major head offices – Port of Tauranga, Zespri International, Ballance
Agri-Nutrients Ltd, Trustpower and Craigs Investment Partners (formerly, ABN
Much of the countryside surrounding Tauranga is horticultural land, used to
grow a wide range of fresh produce for both domestic consumption and export.
The area is particularly well known for growing tangelos (a grapefruit /
tangerine cross), avocados, and kiwifruit. Recent years have seen the
establishment of boutique vineyards and wineries.
Because of Tauranga's large multi-ethnic population, a wide variety of faiths are practiced, including Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, various Eastern Orthodox Churches, Sufism and others. Immigrants from Asia have formed a number of significant Buddhist congregations.