Hastings, New Zealand
|Extent||Clive to Pakipaki,
& Havelock North
|Extent||Waikari River to Lake
|See also||Napier City|
Less than 15 kilometres separates the centres of Hastings and Napier, and as such the two are regarded as the "twin cities". In local government terms, however, the two are considerably different. Where Napier is a city, Hastings' city status was lost in 1989 when it was amalgamated with Havelock North, Flaxmere and a rural hinterland to form the Hastings District. Ironically, this has left Hastings with the larger population of the two centres, with a 2001 population of 67,428.
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The Maori owners leased approximately 70 square kilometres, in the Heretaunga Plains, to Thomas Tanner in 1867, Tanner had been trying to purchase the land since 1864. In 1870 12 people, called the "12 apostles", formed a syndicate to purchase the land for around 30 shillings (£1.50) an acre (£371/km²).
An early name for the town of Hastings included Hicksville, after a prominent local settler, Francis Hicks, who had purchased a 100 acre block from Tanner. Many locals also called the town Heretaunga. Tobias Hicks, Francis' nephew, opens a general store (site of the present day ANZ Bank) in 1871, and in owning the store becomes the towns first post master. In 1873, Tobias, to entice business, offered to give the government a section of land for a railway station, he then offered 144 sections on a 100 acres for a town site, offering to sell the lots at 56 pounds per acre (£13,800/km²). Some residents were betting on Havelock North for the town site. In keeping with other local towns (such as Napier for Charles James Napier, and Clive for Robert Clive), in what seems to have been a political move to seal the deal, Hicks put forth the name Hastings, for that of a prominent statesman or soldier from Imperial India, Warren Hastings, the first Governor-General of India. Hastings was chosen as the railway stop, and town, by the government.
A big jump in the local economy occurred when Edward Newbigin opened a brewery in 1881. By the next year there were 195 freeholders of land in the town.
Vineyards and fruit growing were the first industries for Hastings. With around 600 people, the town was incorporated on 20 October 1886, as a borough.
In 1917 nearly 300 people died of a flu epidemic that swept Hawke's Bay.
Electricity comes to Hastings in 1919.
During World War II allied troops billeted at the Army, Navy and Air Force (ANA) Club, and in private homes. 150 members belonging to 16 different local clubs packed supplies to be sent to the allied soldiers.
Situated on the Heretaunga Plains, Hastings is flat with no natural landmarks. The local area is very productive, with orchards and vineyards surrounding the city. The main industries are agricultural, with freezing works and canneries being major local employers. Honey is also a well-known local product.
- Moss, Maryan. 1999. Historic Outline of the Hastings District.