Place:Whakatane, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand

Watchers


NameWhakatane
TypeCity or town
Coordinates37.933°S 177.0°E
Located inBay of Plenty, New Zealand
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog
source: Family History Library Catalog


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

Whakatane is a town in the eastern Bay of Plenty Region in the North Island of New Zealand, 90 km east of Tauranga and 89 km north-east of Rotorua, at the mouth of the Whakatane River. Whakatane District is the encompassing territorial authority, which covers an area to the south and west of the town, excluding the enclave of Kawerau.

Whakatane has an urban population of , making it New Zealand's 24th largest urban area, and the Bay of Plenty's third largest urban area behind Tauranga and Rotorua. Another people live in the rest of the Whakatane District. Around 40% of the district's population have Māori ancestry. The District has a land area of . Whakatane District was created in 1976.

Whakatane forms part of the parliamentary electorate of East Coast, represented by Anne Tolley of the New Zealand National Party. It is the main urban centre of the Eastern Bay Of Plenty sub-region; incorporating Whakatane, Kawerau, and Opotiki, the Eastern Bay stretches from Otamarakau in the west, to Cape Runaway in the north-east and Whirinaki in the south. It is the seat of the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, chosen as a compromise between the region's two larger cities, Tauranga and Rotorua.

Contents

History

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

Māori occupation

The site of the town has long been populated. Māori (Māori fortified village) sites in the area date back to the first Polynesian settlements, estimated to have been around 1200 CE. According to Māori tradition Toi-te-huatahi, later known as Toi-kai-rakau, landed at Whakatane about 1150 CE in search of his grandson Whatonga. Failing to find Whatonga, he settled in the locality and built a pa on the highest point of the headland now called Whakatane Heads, overlooking the present town. Some 200 years later the Mataatua waka landed at Whakatane.

The Maori name "Whakatāne" is reputed to commemorate an incident occurring after the arrival of the Mataatua. The men had gone ashore and the canoe began to drift. Wairaka, a chieftainess, said "Kia Whakatāne au i ahau" ("I will act like a man"), and commenced to paddle - something that women were not allowed to do. With the help of the other women, the canoe was saved. Wairaka's efforts are commemorated by a bronze statue of her at the mouth of the Whakatane River, which was installed in 1965.


The region around Whakatane was important during the New Zealand Wars of the mid 19th century, particularly the Volkner Incident. Its role culminated in 1869 with raids by Te Kooti's forces and a number of its few buildings were razed, leading to an armed constabulary being stationed above the town for a short while. Whakatane beach heralded a historic meeting on 23 March 1908 between Prime Minister Joseph Ward and the Māori prophet and activist Rua Kenana Hepetipa. Kenana claimed to be Te Kooti's successor.

European settlement

The town was a notable shipbuilding and trade centre from 1880 and with the draining of the Rangitikei swamp into productive farmland from 1904, Whakatane grew considerably. In the early 1920s it was the fastest growing town in the country for a period of about three years and this saw the introduction of electricity for the first time. The carton board mill at Whakatane began as a small operation in 1939 and continues operating to this day.

The Whakatane River once had a much longer and more circuitous route along the western edge of the Whakatane urban area, having been significantly re-coursed in the 1960s with a couple of its loopier loops removed to help prevent flooding and provide for expansion of the town. Remnants of the original watercourse remain as Lake Sullivan and the Awatapu lagoon. The original wide-span ferro-concrete bridge constructed in 1911 at the (aptly named) Bridge Street was demolished in 1984 and replaced by the Landing Road bridge.

Whakatane has in recent years benefited from its relative dominance over numerous smaller and less prosperous towns surrounding it, such as Te Teko (affectionately known as 'Texas') and Waimana, and its popularity as a retirement and lifestyle destination.

Mataatua Declaration

The 'First International Conference on the Cultural and Intellectual Property Rights of Indigenous Peoples' was held in Whakatane from 12 to 18 June 1993. This resulted in the Mataatua Declaration on Cultural and Intellectual Property Rights of Indigenous Peoples', commonly referred to as the Mataatua Declaration.

Research Tips


This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Whakatane. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.