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 118 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 8,050 inhabitants (2013 census). 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 opportunities 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 latter is a special catholic character school.
Wairoa is situated on 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 passenger services ceased in 1988 following Cyclone Bola.
In 1990 Wairoa won the last New Zealand Top Town Final in the original Top Town series and were the reigning champs until the series started again in 2009. Unfortunately due to some confusion with a claim by Greymouth to be the last champions, Wairoa was not eligible for the new top town series and unable to defend their title.
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.
A recent $5M investment by central government in improved medical facilities, and, commencing July 2014, an increased emphasis by the Wairoa District Council on economic development (particularly aimed at encouragement of diversification of agribusiness, ecotourism, digital creative industry attraction, and attraction of new and returning residents) has led to an increasingly positive community view of the district's future.
Mayor Craig Little JP was elected as Mayor in the 2013 District Elections.
- "Explore the Hawke's Bay". Jasons Travel Media.
- Quickstats about Wairoa District
- "Te Kete Ipurangi - Wairoa College". Ministry of Education.
- Booker, Jarrod (26 November 2008). "Pride at stake for Top Town's title pretenders". The New Zealand Herald.
- "LUSH~Why isn't Wairoa, the 1990 Top Town champions, in the new TVNZ series". RadioLIVE. 25 November 2008.
- "Wairoa District Mayor". Local Government Online. 2013.
- Wairoa Help and Information Centre
- Wairoa i-SITE Visitor Information and Travel Centre
- Official website of Wairoa District Council