|Minor urban area|
|Region||Bay of Plenty|
|Territorial authority||Whakatane District|
|Population (June 2017)|
It is the main service town for the agricultural region surrounding the plains of the Rangitaiki River, which flows through the town.
State Highway 2 and the Taneatua Branch railway line (disused) pass through the town.
The town is named after the small village of Edgecumbe in Cornwall, United Kingdom, between Penryn and Helston. Edgecumbe was linked with Tauranga and Auckland by rail, with the opening of the East Coast Main Trunk Railway and Taneatua Express in 1928.
In 1987, a large earthquake centered on Edgecumbe shook the Bay of Plenty, causing widespread damage and causing much of the population to leave Edgecumbe.
In July 2004, May 2005 and April 2017, the town experienced heavy flooding that ruined many homes. In the 2005 flood, the river swelled to within 5 cm of breaching the flood banks that had been put in place seven years prior.
1987 Edgecumbe earthquake
The earthquake was a major turning point in the history of Edgecumbe. It measured 6.3 on the Richter magnitude scale and struck the Bay of Plenty region of New Zealand on 2 March 1987, just after 1.42 pm. The earthquake was very shallow, being centred approximately 8 km from the Earth's surface. The earthquake was one of the most damaging New Zealand's North Island has experienced in recent decades, with approximately 50% of the houses in Edgecumbe being damaged by the quake. There was extensive damage to a local milk factory, with large storage tanks toppled. Kawerau was another nearby town that suffered damage and Whakatane was also badly shaken. An 80-tonne New Zealand Railways DC class locomotive was thrown onto its side.
However, one person died at the time as a result of a heart attack, possibly due to the quake. A foreshock just minutes before had cut the power supply and many people had moved away from heavy machinery and out of their houses. The largest aftershock was measured at 5.2 and struck at 1.52 pm.
A crack 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) long opened in the Rangitaiki Plains near Edgecumbe, as a result of the earthquake. It is now known as the 'Edgecumbe Fault'. At one point, the land close to the fault dropped 2 metres (6.6 ft).
The epicentre of the quake was approximately 2.24 kilometres (1.39 mi) south-south-east of the town of Matata, or 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) north-north-west of Edgecumbe. The intense ground-shaking caused by the earthquake led to a large number of ground surface failures, including sand boils, ridge-top shatters and debris avalanches on steeper slopes. Because of the earthquake, many people left and therefore Edgecumbe's population dropped considerably. Edgecumbe is slowly recovering as it has increased by 21 in the years 2006 to 2013, possibly due to many kiwifruit orchards being affected by PSA.
2017 Edgecumbe flood
The event led to a State of Local Emergency being declared under the Civil Defence & Emergency Management Act 2002, and the largest animal rescue in New Zealand history with approximately 1,000 animals by a SPCA led flood rescue operation led by Wellington SPCA CEO Steve Glassey, with support from local civil defence rescue teams (NZRT15 and NZRT17) and a team of veterinary professionals from Massey University. The event highlighted a significant gap in animal welfare emergency management capability.
Edgecumbe is located inland from the coast on the end of the fertile Rangitaiki Plains. The nearby beach is part of Maketu. The volcanic cone of Mount Edgecumbe, 15 kilometres to the south and close to the town of Kawerau, is visible from Edgecumbe.
Fonterra Dairy Factory
Established in 1915, the Edgecumbe Dairy Factory is one of the oldest dairy factories still running in New Zealand. The factory employs 358 people, accounting for roughly 1/5 of Edgecumbe's total population.
Clubs and organisations
The Association Football Club Plains Rangers AFC is based at the Edgecumbe Domain, along with rugby and hockey.
Edgecumbe has a long-established rugby football club.
Kartsport has its Eastern Bay of Plenty track at Edgecumbe.
Eve Rimmer, paraplegic athlete
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