Hastings, New Zealand

Hastings is a city in Hawke’s Bay, on the east coast of North Island, New Zealand. Located just 20 km inland from the port city of Napier, Hasting has a population of 75,000 people (2011 estimate). Together Hasting and Napier form the fifth largest urban area in New Zealand, with a combined population of 124,000 people.

More on Hastings

Human habitation in the area around Hastings is believed to have started with the3 arrival of the Maori in the 9th century. Arriving by canoe, the Maori settled in the area around Hawkes Bay, also known in Maori as Heretaunga.

One of the first Europeans to settle in the area was Thomas Tanner, who purchased land from the Maori owners in 1867. Another settler, Francis Hicks, bought a 100-acre piece from Thomas Tanner.

In 1871, the colonial government built a railway line through Francis Hicks’s land, and the site of the railway junction became known as Hastings. Thomas Tanner claimed to have given that name to the town. He named it after Warren Hastings, the British Governor-General of India who was impeached for corruption in 1787, but was eventually acquitted of all charges in 1795.

Hastings suffered a massive earthquake in 1931 that destroyed all the buildings of the town and killed 93. It was subsequently rebuilt in the Art Deco and Spanish Mission styles popular during that time.

Today Hastings is at the heart of a fruit growing region. The main crops are apples, pears and stone fruits. The local wines and food have also placed the city on the tourism map. It has the oldest winery restaurant in New Zealand, and new boutique restaurants are opening to promote the cheeses, meats and produce of Hastings.

Visiting Hastings

There are bus services between Hastings and major towns on North Island. The city is 15 minutes from Napier, and three and a half hours from Wellington.

Places of Interest in Hastings

  1. Clock Tower
    This clock tower was built after the 1931 earthquake. It holds the bells that were formerly hung at the post office that collapsed in the quake.

  2. Splash Planet
    Water theme park, a good place to bring children.

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