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Gisborne

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Gisborne
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Position_of_Gisborne_Region.png


Urban Area Population 32,800
Extent Makaraka to Okitu
Unitary
authority
Name Gisborne District
Population 45,200
Extent Puninga to Hicks Bay;
west to Matawai

Gisborne is the name of a unitary authority (in this case, a region and district) in New Zealand. It contains the city of the same name.

Gisborne Region

The region is located in the northeastern corner of the North Island and is also referred to as the East Cape or East Coast region. It is a sparsely inhabited and isolated region, with small settlements mainly clinging to small bays along the eastern shore such as Tokomaru Bay and Tolaga Bay. Other than the city of Gisborne, the main settlement is the town of Ruatoria. The population fo the region is about 45,000, with two-thirds of those living in the city. No other settlement has a population of over 1000.

Inland, the land is rough, predominantly forested, hill country. Te Urewera National Park is located in the west of the region, and the Kaingaroa Forest is located just to the west of that. A spine of rough ridges dominates the centre of the region, culminating in the impressive bulk of the 1620 metre Mount Hikurangi in the region's northeast. This mountain is the fifth highest mountain in the North Island. Regarded as sacred by the Maori, there is some justification to the claims that this is the first mountain to see the sun in summer (see note below under Gisborne City).

The region's population has a higher than the national average proportion of Maori - over 50% is some areas - and still maintains strong ties to both Maori tradition and the iwi and marae structure. The predominant iwi in the region are Ngati Porou, Rongowhakaata, Ngai Tamanuhiri, Mahaki and Tuhoe.

Gisborne City

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NASA satellite photo of Gisborne
Enlarge

The city of Gisborne is located at the north end of Poverty Bay. The white cliff headland of Young Nick's Head at the other end of the bay is visible from the city. The cliffs can be seen in the left hand side of the stat photo associated with this site.

This prominence was the first part of New Zealand sighted by the crew of Captain James Cook's ship Endeavour, and was named for the crew member who first saw it. A memorial to Cook stands on the foreshore, marking the point where he first stepped ashore in New Zealand on October 8, 1769.

On the right hand side of the stat photo at the other end of the bay, known as Poverty Bay, is Kaiti Hill. This hill overlooks the town and magnificent views can be obtained by driving/walking to to the summit.

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Central Gisborne viewed from Kaiti hill

The city maintains a rural charm and is a popular holiday spot. Local industries include agriculture, horticulture, farming and forestry. Wine production is also valuable to the local economy.

It is sometimes known as the City of Rivers as the centre of town is the convergence of three different rivers.

Gisborne City has four main high (secondary) schools: Gisborne Boys' High, Gisborne Girls' High, Lytton High and Campion College.

The harbour was host to many ships in the past. A meat works was sited beside the harbour and meat and wool was shipped from here. Now the harbour is the home of many smaller fishing boats as well as ships loading logs for export.

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Coastal suburbs of Gisborne viewed from Kaiti hill

Gisborne boasts being the first city in the world to greet the sun each day. Technically, however, this is only true for part of the year. Both Suva, Fiji and Nuku'alofa, Tonga are closer to the International Date Line and therefore would seem more likely candidates for this title. Due to the earth's tilt on its axis, however, Gisborne does overtake their claim as the New Zealand summer grows longer. In the longest days of summer, it again loses the title to the hillier suburbs of Dunedin in the South Island.

The city has the benefit of being very close to the white sand beaches of Waikanae and Midway. A short distance from the city is the surf beach of Wainui.


Template:Regions of New Zealand


Template:Territorial Authorities of New Zealand

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