It is located north-west of Hastings, and is regarded as a suburb of its larger neighbour. Flaxmere has a population of 9,408 according to the 2013 Census. It is located in the Hastings Metropolitan Area. It is also known by the Maori name of Paharakeke.
Flaxmere was built to cater to the housing demand of Hastings. Flaxmere was intended to be an upper-middle class subdivision but because land was subdivided into smaller lots it turned into a low income neighbourhood. Flaxmere has one of the highest social deprivation index values of the Napier-Hastings metropolitan area, being exceeded only by the suburbs of Camberley and Maraenui.
The suburb is typical of modern suburbs with a long avenue (Flaxmere Avenue) running its length with curved streets and cul-de-sacs radiating from it. Parks and reserves are abundant and Flaxmere has primary schools and a high school (Flaxmere College) which was formed from the old Flaxmere Intermediate School.
It has a small shopping centre with a supermarket, petrol station, post office, bakery, video store, butchery, indoor rock climbing centre, and various other businesses offering necessities and/or leisure. Other amenities include a library, police station, several churches and an indoor swimming complex (Flaxmere Waterworld).
A plan to upgrade the Flaxmere shopping centre is due to start in the late 2010. It is proposed that the Hastings Council will upgrade Flaxmere park and it is scheduled to re-size the main supermaket (New World). They will add residential housing and some new commercial areas in a space behind the village that has remained empty since Flaxmere was first planned. The Hastings Council has taken no practible steps yet to make any changes. There has been growing discontent within the flaxmere community over this inaction.
Many residents of Flaxmere are concerned over the visible disparity of spending, which much resource and infrastructure being placed into the suburb of Havelock North, with a population base only 20 percent larger than Flaxmere's.
The council have also allowed many of the roadways in Flaxmere fall into a state of disrepair leaking tar on hot summer days, and damaging the residents property, carpets, and pathways.
- Ministry of Health 2006 Social Deprivation Scores for Census Units Flaxmere incorporates the following census units Kingsley-Chatham Score 1204 Lochain Score 1143 Flaxmere East Score 1141. Suburbs in Napier-Hastings with higher deprivation scores are: Camberley Score 1244 Maraenui Score 1252.
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