Wairoa is a town in New Zealand's North Island. It is the northernmost town in the Hawke's Bay region, and is located on the northern shore of Hawkes Bay at the mouth of the Wairoa River and to the SouthWest of Mahia Peninsula. It is 212 kilometres northeast of Napier, and 92 kilometres southwest of Gisborne.
Early settlement in the area included a whaling station and trading post, dealing largely in flax. These establishments offered sufficient income and attraction. Its initial name was Clyde, but this was changed largely to avoid confusion with Clive near Napier and Clyde in the South Island. The north part of the town is called North Clyde. The town rose to prominence during the New Zealand Wars, during which time it was a garrison town.
Wairoa is a manufacturing and farming service town. It is the seat of the Wairoa District Council. The Wairoa District covers the northern half of the bay's coast, and extends from Mahia Peninsula to Lake Waikaremoana, and south to the mouth of the Waikare River. It has a population of 8,481 inhabitants (2006 census) and has now changed to 8,350 in 2011. The District has a land area of 4,119.18 km2 (1,590.42 sq mi).
Wairoa has one secondary school, Wairoa College.This offers many opputrtunities to those students between the years of 7 - 13 with assessments such as NCEA and WAM ( Wairoa Achievement Model). This town also offers many opportunities for education as it has a wide variety of schools specialising in Maori Culture or Catholic Beliefs along as National Curruclum subjects. Te Kura Kaupapa Maori O Ngati Kahungunu O Te Wairoa is the only Maori school in this region. Wairoa Primary, Tiaho, and Frasertown are the Primary schools that offer education to students in years 1 - 6. Ohuka, Te Mahia, Nuhaka, Ruakituri, Mohaka, Waikaremoana, Tiniroto, Tutira, Kotemaori, and St Joseph's School offer education to students in the years 1 - 8. The later is a special catholic character school.
Wairoa is situated on the SH2, which gives connections to Gisborne to the north east and Napier to the south west. It is connected to the Central North Island by SH38 which goes from Wai-O-Tapu via Murupara and Frasertown to Wairoa, and which connects to Rotorua via Te Urewera, and Lake Waikaremoana. It also lies on the Palmerston North-Gisborne railway, though passengers services ceased in 1988 following Cyclone Bola.
Since 2005, Wairoa has been host to the annual Wairoa Māori Film Festival, New Zealand's premiere Maori and indigenous film festival, which has hosted film makers from across the nation and around the world.
The current mayor is Craig Little, who was recently elected at the District Elections this year.He has held this position only currently as of 2013.
- Wairoa Help and Information Centre
- Wairoa i-SITE Visitor Information and Travel Centre
- Official website of Wairoa District Council