Whangarei Harbour from Mt. Parihaka with the suburbs of Onerahi, Sherwood Rise, Parihaka and Port Whangarei in view.
|Nickname(s): Whangas, Dub City, The Rei|
|Motto: Non Nobis Solum, Love It Here, City of 100 Beaches|
|Territorial Authority||Whangarei District|
|Pre 1989||Whangarei County and Whangarei City|
|Named for||Reipae, southern Maori princess|
|• Mayor||Sheryl Mai|
|Population (June 2014 estimate)|
|Time zone||NZST (UTC+12)|
|• Summer (DST)||NZDT (UTC+13)|
|Postcode||0110, 0112 (urban)|
Whangarei (//; Māori: [faŋaˈɾɛi]) is the northernmost city in New Zealand and the regional capital of Northland Region. It is part of the Whangarei District, a local body created in 1989 to administer both the city proper and its hinterland. The district was created from the former Whangarei City, Whangarei County and Hikurangi Town councils. The city population was estimated to be 54,400 at the June 2014 estimate, up from 47,000 in 2001. The wider Whangarei area had an estimated population of 80,800 in 2011.
The Whangarei urban area has several suburbs: Kamo, Springs Flat, Tikipunga, Three Mile Bush, Otangarei, Mairtown, Regent, Kensington, and Whau Valley lie to the north of the city. South and west of the town centre are Morningside, Raumanga, Maunu, Horahora, Woodhill, Vinetown, and the Avenues, and to the east are Riverside, Sherwood Rise, Onerahi, and Parihaka.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Education
- 4 Government
- 5 Transport
- 6 Healthcare
- 7 Retail centres
- 8 Arts and Culture
- 9 Sports
- 10 Notable people
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 External links
Captain James Cook and the crew of the Endeavour were the first Europeans to contemplate the Whangarei Harbour entrance. On 15 November 1769 they caught about one hundred fish there which they classified as "bream" (probably snapper) prompting Cook to name the area Bream Bay.
The Māori iwi Ngāpuhi occupied Whangarei from the early 19th century, and the Te Parawhau hapū lived at the head of the harbour. In the 1820s the area was repeatedly attacked by Waikato and Ngāti Paoa raiders during the Musket Wars.
The first European settler was William Carruth, a Scotsman and trader who arrived in 1839 and was joined, six years later, by Gilbert Mair and his family. For the most part, relations between the settlers and local Māori were friendly, but in February 1842, all settler farms were plundered in revenge for transgressions of tapu. In April 1845, during the Flagstaff War, all settlers fled from Whangarei. Most of the original settlers never returned, but by the mid-1850s there were a number of farmers and orchardists in the area. From 1855, a small town developed, driven by the kauri gum trade. Today's 'Town Basin' on the Hātea River was the original port and early exports included kauri gum and native timber followed later by coal from Whau Valley, Kamo, and Hikurangi. Coal from the Kiripaka field was exported via the Ngunguru River. By 1864, the nucleus of the present city was established.
Fire bricks made from fire clay deposits near the Kamo mines supported a brick works over several decades. Good quality limestone was quarried at Hikurangi, Portland, and Limestone Island, and initially sold as agricultural lime and later combined with local coal to produce Portland cement at the settlement of Portland on the south side of the harbour. Local limestone is still used in cement manufacture but the coal is now imported from the West Coast of the South Island.
Whangarei was the most urbanised area in Northland towards the end of the 19th century, but grew slowly in the 20th century. The district slowly exhausted most of its natural resources but was sustained by agriculture, especially dairying. Shipping was the main transport link until the North Auckland railway line reached the town in 1925, and the road from Auckland was not suitable for travel in poor weather until 1934. These terrestrial travel routes forced a rapid decline in coastal shipping but stimulated Whangarei to become the service centre for Northland. The population was 14,000 in 1945, but grew rapidly in the 1960s, incorporating Kamo and other outlying areas. In 1964, Whangarei was declared a city. Its population the following year was 31,000.
The second half of the twentieth century brought the establishment and expansion of the oil refinery at Marsden Point on Bream Bay, the adjacent development of timber processing and the establishment of Northland Port, which is mainly focused on timber exporting. A container port could follow, linked by rail to Auckland. The extensive flat undeveloped land around Northport is a suggested solution to excess population growth in Auckland and the associated lack of industrial land.
Mt Parihaka is a volcanic dome rising 241 m to the northeast of the city centre. It is about 20 million years old, and part of the Harbour Fault which also includes Parakiore near Kamo, and Hikurangi near the town of the same name. The dome is surrounded by the Parihaka Scenic Reserve. There is road access to the summit of Parihaka and walking tracks through the reserve.
The dome is frequently called Mount Parahaki, but the original Māori spelling of Parihaka was confirmed by the government in 2005.
Matakohe, or Limestone Island, lies in the harbour close to the city. Owned by Whangarei District, it is subject to ecological island restoration by the Friends of Matakohe/Limestone Island Society.
Whangarei falls between sub-tropical and oceanic climate zones (Köppen Cfb). Climate in this area has mild differences between highs and lows. Summer days occasionally exceed 30 °C, and there is plentiful rainfall spread relatively evenly throughout the year.
|Climate data for Whangarei (1981−2010)|
|Average high °C (°F)||24.3
|Daily mean °C (°F)||19.9
|Average low °C (°F)||15.5
|Precipitation mm (inches)||81.2
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)||7.9||7.9||9.3||9.8||12.5||13.9||14.8||14.8||12.6||10.5||9.4||8.7||132.1|
|Source: NIWA Climate Data|
NorthTec, with its main campus located in Whangarei's suburb of Raumanga, is the chief provider of tertiary education in New Zealand's Northland Region. This institution offers a number of degrees, diplomas and certificates in a wide variety of academic, professional and technical fields. Their degrees are nationally monitored for quality and so can lead to postgraduate study at universities and other institutions. The student body of NorthTec consists of around 23,000 students studying either part-time or full-time.
The University of Auckland maintains a campus in the city centre. There are also a number of private tertiary educational organisations, which provide technical and vocational training.
There are several schools which offer secondary schooling education within the urban area. Most suburbs have their own primary school.
Whangarei Boys' High School, a boys' secondary school with a roll of 1109 (October 2014).
Whangarei Girls' High School, a girls' secondary school with a roll of 1307 (October 2014).
- These two secondary schools have a decile rating of 5 and cover years 9-13. Both schools opened in 1881.
Kamo High School, which accommodates years 9-13.
Tikipunga High School, which caters for years 7-13.
- Both of these are co-educational secondary schools serving the northern suburbs.
Huanui College, a private secondary school just out of the urban area in Glenbervie.
Intermediate and primary schools
There are two intermediate schools (years 7-8) in the urban area. Several primary schools offer education from years 1-8.
Whangarei Intermediate is an intermediate (years 7-8) school with a roll of 639.
Kamo Intermediate is a popular intermediate school serving the northern suburbs.
Primary schools in the urban area include Hurupaki School, Kamo Primary School, Totara Grove School (formerly Kamo East School), Tikipunga Primary School, Otangarei School, Whau Valley School, Whangarei School, a contributing primary (years 1-6) school with a roll of 577, Maunu School, Horahora School, Morningside School, Manaia View School (formerly Raumanga Primary and Raumanga Middle schools, amalgamated), Raurimu Avenue School, and Onerahi School.
Pompallier Catholic College (opened in 1971) is a Catholic state integrated co-educational secondary school (years 7 to 13) with a roll of 560 and a decile ranking of 7, located in the suburb of Maunu. Only Catholic secondary school in Northland serving the wider district.
Saint Francis Xavier Catholic School, the city's Catholic primary school, located in the suburb of Whau Valley adjacent to the Catholic Parish.
Christian Renewal School is a composite (years 1-13) school with a roll of 201. The school was established in 1993 and integrated into the state system in 1997. The school operates in the Christian Renewal Church buildings.
Excellere College, a Christian school (years 1-13) located in the northern suburb of Springs Flat.
The Whangarei Adventist Christian School, located at Whau Valley Road, has been operating for some 50 years and is the second oldest of the independent Christian schools in Whangarei. It was formerly called the Whangarei Seventhday Adventist School.
Blomfield Special School and Resource Centre provides education and care to students between the ages of five and twenty-one years, and has a roll of 68. The school operates from five locations, four in Whangarei and one in Kaitaia.
Whangarei is within the Whangarei general electorate and the Te Tai Tokerau Maori electorate. As of 26 November 2014 the current MP of the Whangarei electorate is Dr Shane Reti of the National Party. The current MP of the Te Tai Tokerau electorate is Kelvin Davis of the Labour Party.
At a local level Whangarei comes under the Northland Regional Council of which the town is the seat.
Whangarei is governed locally by the Whangarei District Council and the city is split into two council wards, Denby, which takes the northern suburbs and Okara, which takes the southern half of the city.
The Northland Police District covers Whangarei which is split into two areas, Whangarei/ Kaipara and Mid/ Far North.
Judicially, the town is served by the Whangarei District Court and is also the base of the region's only High Court.
Whangarei is connected to Auckland by rail. The line carries freight only; public passenger transport is by long-distance bus.
Whangarei District Council operates the CityLink bus service. This bus service runs six urban bus routes.
In July 2013 a second road crossing of the Hatea River was opened, in the form of a bascule bridge.
Whangarei Hospital (formerly Northland Base Hospital) is Northland DHB's largest and provides secondary specialist care to all of Northland and has 246 inpatient beds, it is based in the suburb of Maunu,
Kensington Hospital, opened in March 2001, provides a modern, private healthcare facility for the people of Northland.
Whangarei falls within the Northland District Health Board and the Manaia Primary Health Organisation.
Whangarei serves as the primary destination for shopping within the region and has at least one of most nation-wide retail chains.
The town centre has the largest concentration of stores with the Cameron Street Mall and the Strand Arcade offering smaller stores as well as the nearby Tarewa Centre and Okara Shopping Centre providing big-box format stores.
There are several suburban shopping centres throughout Whangarei in Kamo, Tikipunga, Kensington, Regent, Onerahi, Raumanga and Maunu.
Supermarkets include Countdown stores in Okara, Regent and Tikipunga, New World stores in Onerahi and the Regent, a central Pak'n'Save as well as Four Square food markets in Kamo, Raumanga, Mairtown and Maunu.
Arts and Culture
||It has been suggested that this section be split into a new article titled Hundertwasser Arts Centre. (Discuss) Proposed since November 2014.|
" In 1993 Friedensreich Hundertwasser designed an Art Centre for Whangarei. The council did not build the arts centre at that time as Hundertwasser selected a building owned by Northland Regional Council who did not wish to sell it to the Whangarei District Council. Hundertwasser then went on to design the Hundertwasser Toilets for nearby Kawakawa which have become the major attraction for Kawakawa and are credited with providing the impetus for Kawakawa's economic recovery. After his death the Whangarei District Council revived plans to build the Hundertwasser Arts Centre and in 2012 signed a contract with Hundertwasser Non Profit Foundation to build it and to display authentic Hundertwasser work and contermporary Maori artwork there. The Hundertwasser Non Profit Foundation acknowledge this as the last authentic Hundertwasser building provided it is built on the building he selected.
This project was costed, consented, agreed and included in the Long Term Council Plan. The cost to the council was to be $8 million including earthquake strengthening for the building. 220,000 visitors a year were expected. A feasibility study by Deloittes assessed the economic benefit to Northland as $3.5 million per year. The Yes Whangarei campaign estimated the effective cost per household via rates to be $6.70 per year over 10 years. This per-household cost excluded the earthquake strengthening on the assumption it would be required regardless.
The project was controversial, with concerns about ratepayer cost and some people not liking the appearance. In May the results of a phone survey commissioned by the council were released. The survey only polled land lines provided by WDC, because mobile phone data was not available. Only 78% of Whangarei households have landlines. In the weighted results 53% of residents opposed the HAC project whereas 28% supported it. The primary reason for opposing the project was cost with 81% saying "rate payer money should be spent on other priorities" or "Too expensive / waste of money". The primacy of the cost concern was demonstrated by the question "What proportion of the construction costs would you be comfortable with Council contributing". 53% of respondents were comfortable with the council contributing 20% of the costs whereas only 28% were comfortable with the council paying 40% or more of the costs. Some criticism has been made of the survey. 41% of respondents said they knew little or nothing about the project and there is no reporting as to how people who knew about the project responded as opposed to those who didn't. The under-representation of people under 40 (only 95 people surveyed with only 30 of those saying they knew about the project) affects the reliability. Tony Collins concludes "so, really the only thing you can say with confidence from this research is that older people don’t support the Centre".
In June 2014 Councillor Phil Halse moved a motion to remove the HAC from the Long Term plan citing procedural issues. This was narrowly passed leading to one national newspaper running the headline 'Whangarei kills reason to visit'. Following the decision the council building council staff reported
""Feedback from the investment and development community has been that confidence was somewhat dampened by the Hundertwasser decision""
Many commenters and some councillors  have stated the public voted against the Hundertwasser but there has not been a public vote on the issue (although there was a phone poll). The Yes Whangarei online petition has been signed by over 3000 people  (compared to 24,167 ratepayers who voted for the current councillors ) but not all petition signers are ratepayers and it cannot be considered a vote. Several of the councillors who voted against the HAC had supported it in the past (including Phil Halse) or had not stated their position prior to the election (including Susy Bretherton ) so the council election cannot be considered to be a vote either. Phil Halse has been accused of changing his position due to 'petty politics and sour grapes' over not being appointed deputy mayor but claims his reasoning is all about process. Whangarei voting numbers for local councillors are fairly small meaning that only one councillor (the mayor) was elected with more votes than the number of people who have signed the petition 
Following this vote the council asked for further proposals to make that location iconic. The four proposals selected for further consideration included a revised proposal for the Hundertwasser Arts Centre (renamed Hundertwasser Wairau Maori Art Centre) by a newly formed trust called Prosper Northland. The proposal was backed up by a new feasibility study which affirmed the original Deloitte's study and said it was based on conservative figures. One of the other proposals withdrew in support of the HWMAC proposal leaving a short-list of three. Under the new proposal Prosper Northland commit to finding all funding except for the earthquake strengthening. Whangarei District Council staff analysis states that "Overall staff considers the HWMAC proposal to be about economic development while on balance the other three are more about enhancing Sense of Place and telling our story". A public meeting to present the HWMAC proposal was attended by over 1000 supporters 
5 of the councillors who voted against the more expensive HAC proposal moved to reject the HWMAC proposal. The motion was voted rejected at an extraordinary meeting of the Whangarei District Council on 12 November 2014 with only five councillors voting in favour. A counter motion by the major to proceed with the HMWAC proposal AND the Harbourside proposal with a goal to have both was also rejected. A final motion was passed that a binding referendum should be held in March. This was passed.
The New Zealand Herald stated "Last week it was decided, reluctantly, to hold a referendum on the proposal. To scrap the plan would be a loss not just for those supporting it now but for generations to come. At present there is no reason whatsoever for visitors to stop in Whangarei. With the Hundertwasser Arts Centre, there would be"
Phil Halse advised the Northern Advocate that the up-front cost would be $4.7 million. This conflicts with council staff analysis that puts the 5 year cost at $2.8 million  and the figure stated by fellow anti-Hundertwasser councillor Trisha Cutforth in the council meeting  and was disputed in the same article by Barry Trass of Prosper Northland. In response to claims by Phil Halse that there would be additional costs and that the council would incur costs after the first 4 years Prosper Northland have formally advised the council they are able to extend the period for which they underwrite the Art Centre from 4 years to ten years.
Prime Minister John Key has spoken in support of the project and indicated he thinks Tourism New Zealand should assist with funding (he is also tourism minister).
Whangarei is home to the Northland Taniwha rugby union team, a professional side competing in the ITM Cup, the highest level of provincial rugby in New Zealand. They play out of Toll Stadium, the largest stadium in the region, which also hosted two matches during Rugby World Cup 2011.
The International Rally of Whangarei is based in the region with competitors from Australia, India, China, Japan, South East Asia and Pacific Islands racing on dirt roads in the districts surrounding Whangarei. It is the season opening event for both the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship and the New Zealand Rally Championship and is New Zealand's second largest international motorsport copetition, second only to the world championship event, Rally New Zealand. Whangarei Speedway attracts drivers from outside the Northland region.
Northland is also represented at the highest national domestic level in Golf.
The Northland rugby league team, representing the Northland Region in New Zealand Rugby League competitions, is based in Whangarei. They currently compete in the Albert Baskerville Trophy as the Northern Swords. Between 2006 and 2007 they were part of the Bartercard Cup, playing under the name the Northern Storm. Northland was originally known as North Auckland and has previously used the nickname the Wild Boars.
- Laurence Clark, cartoonist.
- Keith Urban, country music singer
- Tim Southee, New Zealand cricketer
- Adam Blair, New Zealand Rugby League representative
- Michael Hill, jeweller
- Laura Dekker, Dutch sailor, born on a boat in Whangarei in 1995, settled there again in 2012
- Winston Peters, New Zealand politician and leader of New Zealand First
- Suzie Muirhead, former member of the New Zealand Black Sticks Women's hockey team
- Jack Marshall, Prime Minister of New Zealand for most of 1972, grew up in Whangarei and went to Whangarei Boy's High School.
- Ian Jones (rugby union), Former All Black lock
- Rene Ranger, Current member of the All Blacks and star of the Northland Taniwha
- Billy T. James, entertainer, comedian, musician and actor, was at Whangarei Boy's High School between 1962 and 1965.
- "Subnational Population Estimates: At 30 June 2014 (provisional)". Statistics New Zealand. 22 October 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2014. Also "Infoshare; Group: Population Estimates - DPE; Table: Estimated Resident Population for Urban Areas, at 30 June (1996+) (Annual-Jun)". Statistics New Zealand. 22 October 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
- A. H. Reed (1968). Historic Northland.
- Pickmere, Nancy Preece (1986). Whangarei: The Founding Years. pp. 1–6.
- Pickmere, pp 20-46
- Pickmere, pp 87-88
- "Whāngārei City and environs". Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand.
- "Whangarei". Bateman New Zealand Encyclopedia (4th edition ed.). 1995. p. 632.
- "Marsden Point - The Hype and The Reality". TelferYoung (Northland) Limited. June 2006.
- Bruce Hayward, Mike Isaac, Keith Miller and Bernhard Spörli (2002). "Introduction to Whangarei geology" (PDF). Geological Society of New Zealand. p. 27.
- Parkes, W. F. (1992). Guide to Whangarei City and District. p. 7. ISBN 0-473-01639-7.
- "Mount Parihaka name corrected". 19 July 2005. Retrieved 2008-08-14.
- Parkes, p 11
- Climate Summary for Whangarei
- "Climate Data and Activities". NIWA Science. Retrieved October 15, 2013.
- "Directory of Schools - as at 5 November 2014". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 2014-12-06.
- Te Kete Ipurangi schools database: Whangarei Boys High School]
- Te Kete Ipurangi schools database: Whangarei Girls High School]
- "Whangarei Boys' High School -Our History". Whangarei Boys' High School.
- "Whangarei Girls' High". Whangarei Girls' High School.
- "Te Kete Ipurangi - Whangarei Intermediate". Ministry of Education.
- "Te Kete Ipurangi - Whangarei School". Ministry of Education.
- "Te Kete Ipurangi - Christian Renewal School". Ministry of Education.
- "Supplementary Review Report: Christian Renewal School". Education Review Office. May 2005.
- "Education Review Report: Blomfield Special School and Resource Centre". Education Review Office. December 2007.
- "Te Kete Ipurangi - Blomfield Special School & Resource Centre". Ministry of Education.
- "Blomfield Special School - locations". Blomfield Special School.
- "Bio". Retrieved 2009-02-20.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Whangarei.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Whangarei.|