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|Territorial authority||Hastings District|
Bridge Pā is a rural Māori settlement and surrounding area in Hawke's Bay, New Zealand, located approximately 10 kilometres inland from Hastings. The pā itself comprises approximately 70 households, a school, a meetinghouse of the LDS Church, two marae (Korongata Marae and a later addition in 1984 of the Mangaroa Marae), a cemetery, a disused quarry, and the 140-year-old historical Homestead of the Puriri Family. The population was 184 in 1996, increasing to 213 in 2001.
Bridge Pā is situated on flat land on the Heretaunga Plains with the major geographical feature of the township being the Karewarewa Stream. Located on the edge of an unconfined aquifer, the surrounding land is free-draining and is used for sheep grazing, horticulture and wine production.
The surrounding area includes Hastings Aerodrome, two golf clubs, a car club, and a Deer Stalkers hall. As well as the main settlement centred on the intersection of Maraekakaho Road and Raukawa Road, a satellite settlement is located on Ngatarawa Road (near the Valentine Road corner) and on State Highway 50 (near the corner with Maraekakaho Road in the shadow of Roy's Hill). A relatively large tract of the surrounding rural area (up to 5 km from the pā) is also classified as Bridge Pā by local authorities and the White Pages.
The main road through the town is limited to 50 km/h and traffic is slowed through a variety of traffic calming measures. There is no sewerage.There is metropolitan style water reticulation. Wastewater is treated via individual homeowner septic tanks. Hastings Aerodrome is located nearby, just outside the settlement.
The rural setting experiences between -3 °C frosts in winter (usually clearing to clear crisp days) to 40 °C heat in late summer. Bridge Pā is approximately 20 km from the coast, and with the central North Island mountain ranges of the Ruahines and Kawekas to intercept the prevailing westerly winds, the region enjoys a Mediterranean climate with around 2350 sunshine hours per annum and very low humidity.
Bridge Pa Triangle
Bridge Pa Triangle is a grape growing area roughly delineated by three roads: Ngatarawa Road, State Highway 50 and Maraekakaho Road. It is recognised as a premium wine growing area in the Hawke’s Bay region. Wines grown include Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc. In ancient times the area was blanketed by the pumice tephra of numerous Taupo volcanic events. Much of the Triangle area covers the historical (pre-1860s earthquake) riverbed of the nearby Ngaruroro River. As such soil types include Ngatarawa Gravels, Takapau Silty-loam (free draining red metal of mixed alluvial and volcanic origin) and shallow clay-loam soils with underlying deep free draining pumice.
Alwyn Corban and Garry Glazebrook of Ngatarawa Wines pioneered wine production in the area in the 1980s and it is only with the growth of other boutique wineries in the late 1990s the "Bridge Pa Triangle" has been delineated and named. The area is also sometimes described as The Maraekakaho Triangle and The Ngatarawa Triangle. Bordering Ngatarawa Road and to the north of the area along State Highway 50 is the Gimblett Gravels wine growing area.
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