Place:Waikato, New Zealand


Coordinates37.5°S 175°E
Located inNew Zealand
source: Family History Library Catalog
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Waikato ( or ) is a local government region of the upper North Island of New Zealand. It covers the Waikato District, Hauraki, Coromandel Peninsula, the northern King Country, much of the Taupo District, and parts of Rotorua District. It is governed by the Waikato Regional Council.

The region stretches from Coromandel Peninsula in the north, to the north-eastern slopes of Mount Ruapehu in the south, and spans the North Island from the west coast, through the Waikato and Hauraki to Coromandel Peninsula on the east coast. Broadly, the extent of the region is the Waikato River catchment. Other major catchments are those of the Waihou, Piako, Awakino and Mokau rivers. The region is bounded by Auckland on the north, Bay of Plenty on the east, Hawke's Bay on the south-east, and Manawatu-Wanganui and Taranaki on the south. Waikato Region is the fourth largest region in the country in area and population: It has an area of 25,000 km² and a population of

The region encompasses all or part of eleven territorial authorities, the most of any region of New Zealand. It is centred on the Waikato which consists of Waikato District, Matamata-Piako District, Waipa District, South Waikato District and Hamilton City.[1] In descending order of land area the eleven territorial authorities are Taupo District (part), Waikato District, Waitomo District (part), Thames-Coromandel District, Otorohanga District, South Waikato District, Matamata-Piako District, Waipa District, Hauraki District, Rotorua District (part), and Hamilton City.

The name for the region is taken from the Waikato River; waikato is a Māori word traditionally translated as "flowing water" (specifically, wai = "water" and kato = "the pull of the river current in the sea").

When Waikato is used in spoken language it takes the definite article: the Waikato. But this usually refers to a smaller region than the Waikato local government region. Two definitions that would meet with wide acceptance are those of the Waikato rugby football union and of Hamilton Waikato tourism. The former takes in the local government areas of Hamilton City, the southern part of Waikato district, Waipa district, most of Matamata-Piako district and the South Waikato district. Hamilton Waikato tourism takes in additionally the northern part of Waikato district (Tuakau and other centres), the northern King Country (Waitomo and Otorohanga districts), and the Te Aroha district.

The parts of Waikato region beyond these limits are usually identified as Thames Valley and/or Hauraki/Coromandel (for the north-eastern part of Waikato region) and Taupo, on the Volcanic or Central Plateau (for the south-eastern part of the region).


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Before the arrival of Europeans, the Waikato contained the third most densely populated part of New Zealand, after Northland/Auckland and the Bay of Plenty. The Waikato rohe (area) was inhabited by iwi (tribes) such as those of the Tainui confederation, including Waikato and Ngāti Toa who conquered the native inhabitants about 1450 according to Tainui historians, finally destroying them at a battle at Aratiatia. Between about 1750 and 1842 the area was subject to a large number of invasions by other Māori iwi and hapu confederations and large scale population migrations took place by a number of hapu and iwi. The largest battle ever fought in New Zealand took place near Ohaupo about 1790-1805, between two competing alliances of hapu. During the latter stages of this volatile period, known as the Musket Wars (1807–1845), conflict led to a migration south to Taranaki and eventually Kapiti Island.

In 1840 44 Waikato chiefs travelled north to the Manukau Heads and Manukau Harbour to sign the Treaty of Waitangi, officially making the Waikato area part of New Zealand. Three Ngati Maniapoto chiefs signed, as did three Ngati Haua chiefs but most signatories were Waikato. Chief Te Whero whero did not sign, "probably due to the lack of dignity compared to the Waitangi event". Unusually, the copy signed was in English. Between 1840 and 1860 the CMS missionaries of the Anglican church assisted Waikato Maori in revolutionizing their economy in the Kihikihi area by the introduction of such crops as peaches, maize and wheat.

Missionaries brought in millers and helped Maori establish eight flour mills. These flourished until 1857, as they provided flour for the growing Auckland market in the 1850s and for a brief while were exporting to Australia. There were mills at Aotea, Kaitotehe, Karakariki, Kihikihi, Kirikiriroa, Kohanga, Kopatauaki, Mahoe, Mangaharakeke, Mangapapa, Mangarewarewa, Mangatawhiri, Matamata pā, Maungakawa, Maungatautari, Mohoaonui, Otawhao, Patetere, Rangataiki,[2] Rangiaowhia, Taupo, Te Kopua, Te Rore, Tireke, Tuakau, Waitetuna, Whaingaroa[2] and Whatawhata.

The route used to travel to and from Auckland was by dray to the Puniu stream, along the Waipa River to its junction with the Waikato. Near the Waikato Heads travellers entered the small Awaroa River. During summer it was necessary to push or pull the waka through to the Manukau Harbour at Waiuku. By 1850s a small bullock track had been established to Auckland via the settlements of Mauku, Drury, Papakura and Otahuhu or waka could take the sea route across the Manukau to Ihumatao (where Auckland International Airport is now). The main tribe to use this route and the main traders were the Maniapoto tribe. They occupied an area of fertile land south of Te Awamutu at Kihikihi and Rangiaowhia. Maniapoto sold wheat, peaches, potatoes and other food to Auckland and bought back shirts, sugar, tobacco and rum. The boom time ended in 1856-1857 with the end of the Australian gold rush, allowing importing of cheaper food, especially flour, from Australia. Even in the boom time of 1854-55, food grown by Waikato Maori, such as Ngati Maniapoto, was taken to the Auckland market in very small amounts compared to food from the Waiheke Island -Thames area. In early 1855 Ngati Maniapoto took only 3 canoes of potatoes to Auckland compared to 279 canoes containing a much wider variety of food from the Thames area. Missionaries had also established schools for Maori. Benjamin and Harriet Ashwell ran a school for 50 Maori girls aged 6–17 at Taupiri in 1853. The girls had been at the school for up to 3 years and could read and write in English and do mental arithmetic.

At the time of the Waikato campaign of 1863 against the rebel Māori King Movement forces, the population was estimated by the government at about 3,500 Māori.

During the late 1850s Maniapoto in particular become disgruntled in their dealings with Pakeha. They complained about the way they were treated in Auckland by traders but their chief compliant was that the government was underpaying them for land they were selling. The average price paid by government was 6d per acre but it was sold to settlers for 10/- per acre. The government argued that it had to pay for surveying and administration costs but to Maori it seemed unfair. Before the elevation of the first Maori king there was a wide range of opinions amongst influential Maori with some such as Wirimu Tamihana's father advocating supporting the Crown while Te Heuheu of Tuwharetoa advocated all out war against the government. This view was initially unpopular as the king movement hoped to work alongside the crown. Maori were upset at the number of children that had been fathered by Pakeha, who had then disappeared. The children were left to be raised by their mothers with general hapu support. John Gorst, a well-educated government agent, reported significant numbers of half-caste children in the Waikato in the late 1850s. However, in the Ngati Maniapoto iwi at least 7 Pakeha integrated successfully with the tribe from 1842, marrying Maori women. The best known are William Searancke, who became an important government agent, and Frenchman Louis Hetet, who became a successful trader. Their half-caste children lived with the iwi, and some became leading figures.

What tipped the balance was conflict and criminal activity within the Waikato region. Influential chiefs said the treaty had promised the government would help maintain peace. They asked for government magistrates and courts. The government attempted to fulfill these requests but many of the young men who put themselves forward for the positions simply saw that they had an opportunity to get wealthy at the government's expense. This upset the older chiefs, who wanted the strong Maori leader Te Wherowhero to return from Mangere to his lands at Tamahere (South Hamilton) to rein in the out-of-control young chief magistrates.

The Waikato has a prominent history, particularly regarding relationships between Māori and European in early colonial New Zealand. The Waikato was within the defined boundaries of the colonial provinces of New Ulster (1841–1853) and Auckland (1853–1876) but was principally Māori. During the land wars of the 1860s, the Waikato was the scene of five battles in what is referred to as the Invasion of the Waikato. In retaliation for the help Waikato Māori (mainly Ngāti Maniapoto) gave Taranaki Māori in their conflict over land in the earlier First Taranaki War, and the decision by some Waikato hapu to form a separate kingdom – the King Movement or Kingitanga – in opposition to the government, the colonial government, with the help of troops brought from Britain and Queenite Māori loyal to the Crown, pushed south from the main settlement of Auckland, fighting against Waikato raiders in Auckland before venturing into the Waikato to attack the combined hapu of the King Movement. During 1863 and 1864 fighting occurred at Pukekohe East, Titi hill, Burtts Farm, Galloway Redoubt, Kiri Kiri, Martyn's Farm, Patumahoe, Rhodes Clearing, Williamson's Clearing, Otau, Camerontown, Kakaramea and Wairoa ranges (all Auckland), Meremere, Rangiriri, Ngaruawahia, Rangiaowhia (southwest of Cambridge), Hairini Ridge and Ōrākau (near Kihikihi), all resulting in defeat for the Kingitanga forces. Eventually the rebel King Movement forces pulled back to positions in the area to the south of the Punui River in South Waikato, still known as the King Country, after 19 defeats by the British. Rewi's Last Stand, one of New Zealand's first motion pictures, in 1925, portrayed an entertaining, fictionalized version of the Ōrākau siege.

The headquarters of the Māori King Movement are now at Turangawaewae Marae at Ngaruawahia.

After the end of the war and the withdrawal of British and Australian troops, the region experienced a long period of economic recession after 1866. Most Maori had moved to the King Country and European settlers were more attracted to the South Island with its large gold discovery in Otago and the more easily farmed Canterbury Plains. The Waikato had poor land access and was not suitable for sheep farming which dominated livestock production in New Zealand until the 1890s invention of refrigeration. Dairying and the completion of the main trunk railway line at the turn of the century lead to a small, steady increase in population. After 1900 the Waikato continued to grow as a dairying region benefiting from the flow of capital earned from the sale of butter and cheese mainly to Britain.

Local government history

Following major floods in 1907, a Waikato River Board was formed in 1911. However, it was reported as ineffective in 1921 and ceased to operate, though the need for a replacement was considered in 1933.

Hauraki Catchment Board was set up in 1946.[3]

Major floods also occurred in 1953 and 1956.[3] Waikato Valley Authority was established by the Waikato Valley Authority Act on 26 October 1956. The Water and Soil Conservation Act 1967 extended it to become a Catchment/Regional Water Board. The Ministry of Works and Development Abolition Act 1988, left WVA with that work and it became the Waikato Catchment Board.

The Waikato United Council, was formulated under the Local Government Act 1974, but due to objections excluded Thames/Coromandel district, though otherwise covered the present extent of the region. It was set up under the Town and Country Planning Act 1977[3] and the Waikato Region Constitution Order 1980. WUC covered Hamilton City, Huntly, Ngaruawahia, Cambridge, Te Awamutu, Matamata, Putaruru and Tokoroa boroughs, Matamata, Raglan, Waikato, and Waipa counties, Otorohanga and Waitomo districts. It took over the Hamilton Regional Planning Authority and mainly dealt with regional planning and civil defence. By 1989, WUC had committees for regional planning, civil defence, regional government, and the Waikato Regional Development Board.[4] From 1987 it also included Thames-Coromandel District, Great Barrier Island, Hauraki Plains, Ohinemuri and Piako counties, and Morrinsville, Paeroa, Te Aroha and Waihi boroughs.

On 1 November 1989 Waikato Regional Council was established[4] by the Local Government (Waikato Region) Reorganisation Order 1989. from 40 former authorities:[5]- 2 catchment boards (Hauraki and Waikato),[5] 3 united councils (Waikato, Thames Valley[6] and part of Tongariro), 12 noxious plants authorities, 11 pest destruction boards and 12 drainage boards.[5] The Land Transport Act 1998 added transport to WRC's responsibilities. From 1 November 2010 Environment Waikato took over the southern parts of Franklin District. That seems to be the only legislation naming it 'Environment Waikato', which had been its operating name[4] until 2011, shortly after the 'Rates Control Team' won about half the seats in the 2010 election.

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