Tauranga from Mount Maunganui
|Region||Bay of Plenty|
|Territorial authority||Tauranga City Council|
Te Papa-Welcome Bay
|Gazetted as a borough||1882|
|City constituted||17 April 1963|
Bay of Plenty
|• MP (Tauranga)||Simon Bridges (National)|
|• MP (Bay of Plenty)||Todd Muller (National)|
|• Deputy Mayor||Tina Salisbury|
|• Territorial||168 km2 (65 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||232 m (761 ft)|
|Lowest elevation||0 m (0 ft)|
|• Density||900/km2 (2,300/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+12 (NZST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+13 (NZDT)|
3110, 3112, 3116, 3118
|Local iwi||Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Pūkenga|
Tauranga (Māori pronunciation: [ˈtaʉɾaŋa]) is a coastal metropolitan city in the Bay of Plenty region and the fifth most populous city of New Zealand, with an urban population of 151,300 (June 2020), or roughly 3% of the national population. It was settled by Māori late in the 13th century, by Europeans in the early 19th century, and was constituted as a city in 1963.
The city lies in the north-western corner of the Bay of Plenty, on the south-eastern edge of Tauranga Harbour. The city extends over an area of 168 square kilometres (65 sq mi), and encompasses the communities of Bethlehem, on the south-western outskirts of the city; Greerton, on the southern outskirts of the city; Matua, west of the central city overlooking Tauranga Harbour; Maungatapu; Mount Maunganui, located north of the central city across the harbour facing the Bay of Plenty; Otūmoetai; Papamoa, Tauranga's largest suburb, located on the Bay of Plenty; Tauranga City; Tauranga South; and Welcome Bay.
Tauranga is one of New Zealand's main centres for business, international trade, culture, fashion and horticultural science. The Port of Tauranga is New Zealand's largest port in terms of gross export tonnage and efficiency. Tauranga is one of New Zealand's fastest-growing cities, with a 14 percent increase in population between the 2001 census and the 2006 census, and 11% between the 2006 census and the 2013 census. Due to its rapid population growth, Tauranga has become New Zealand's fifth-largest city, overtaking Dunedin and the Napier-Hastings urban areas.
In December 1826 and again in March 1827, the Herald travelled to Tauranga from the Bay of Islands to obtain supplies of potatoes, pigs and flax. In 1835 a Church Missionary Society mission station was established at Tauranga by William Wade. Rev. Alfred N. Brown arrived at the CMS mission station in 1838. John Morgan also visited the mission in 1838.
Europeans trading in flax were active in the Bay of Plenty during the 1830s; some were transient, others married local women and settled permanently. The first permanent non-Maori trader was James Farrow, who travelled to Tauranga in 1829, obtaining flax fibre for Australian merchants in exchange for muskets and gunpowder. Farrow acquired a land area of 2,000 square metres (1⁄2 acre) on 10 January 1838 at Otūmoetai Pā from the chiefs Tupaea, Tangimoana and Te Omanu, the earliest authenticated land purchase in the Bay of Plenty.
In 1840, a Catholic mission station was established. Bishop Pompallier was given land within the palisades of Otūmoetai Pā for a church and a presbytery. The mission station closed in 1863 due to land wars in the Waikato district.
New Zealand Wars–Tauranga Campaign
The Battle of Gate Pa
The battle of Gate Pā was an attack on the well fortified Pā and its Māori defenders on 29 April 1864 by British forces made up of approximately 300 men of the 43rd Regiment and a naval contingent. It was the single most devastating loss of life suffered by the British military in the whole of the New Zealand Wars. The British casualties were 31 dead (including 10 officers), and 80 wounded. The Māori defenders abandoned the Pā during the night with casualties estimated at 25 dead and an unknown number of wounded.
Here is a list of suburbs by electoral ward:
Te Papa / Welcome Bay:
Otumoetai / Pyes Pa:
Mount Maunganui / Papamoa:
Tauranga is located around a large harbour that extends along the western Bay of Plenty, and is protected by Matakana Island and the extinct volcano of Mauao (Mount Maunganui). Ngamuwahine River is located 19 kilometres southwest of Tauranga.
Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty are situated along a faultline and so experience (infrequent) seismic activity. There are a few volcanoes around the area (mainly dormant). The most notable of these are White Island and Mauao, nicknamed "The Mount" by locals.
|Climate data for Tauranga (1981–2010)|
|Average high °C (°F)||24.0
|Daily mean °C (°F)||19.4
|Average low °C (°F)||14.8
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||76.0
|Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)||6.4||7.0||8.0||8.4||8.6||10.9||11.5||11.8||10.4||10.3||9.1||8.2||110.4|
|Average relative humidity (%)||74.4||77.7||77.7||80.4||83.3||85.5||84.1||81.9||77.4||75.2||73.4||74.8||78.8|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||261.5||217.3||214.0||183.9||165.3||135.4||151.0||173.4||174.1||212.7||224.2||232.7||2,345.6|
|Source: NIWA Climate Data|
Tauranga surpassed Dunedin in 2008 as the sixth-largest city in New Zealand by urban area, and the ninth largest city by Territorial Authority area. It has now also surpassed the Napier-Hastings area to become the fifth largest city.
In 1976, Tauranga was a medium-sized urban area, with a population of around 48,000, smaller than Napier or Invercargill. The completion of a harbour bridge in 1988 brought Tauranga and The Mount closer (they amalgamated in 1989) and promoted growth in both parts of the enlarged city. In 1996 Tauranga's population was 82,092 and by 2006 it had reached 103,635.
Tauranga City had a population of 136,713 at the 2018 New Zealand census, an increase of 21,924 people (19.1%) since the 2013 census, and an increase of 32,832 people (31.6%) since the 2006 census. There were 50,442 households. There were 65,868 males and 70,845 females, giving a sex ratio of 0.93 males per female. Of the total population, 27,564 people (20.2%) were aged up to 15 years, 23,235 (17.0%) were 15 to 29, 58,938 (43.1%) were 30 to 64, and 26,979 (19.7%) were 65 or older. Figures may not add up to the total due to rounding.
Ethnicities were 81.7% European/Pākehā, 18.2% Māori, 2.9% Pacific peoples, 7.6% Asian, and 2.1% other ethnicities. People may identify with more than one ethnicity.
The percentage of people born overseas was 21.7, compared with 27.1% nationally.
Although some people objected to giving their religion, 50.8% had no religion, 35.5% were Christian, and 7.1% had other religions.
Of those at least 15 years old, 21,570 (19.8%) people had a bachelor or higher degree, and 18,957 (17.4%) people had no formal qualifications. The median income was $31,600. The employment status of those at least 15 was that 51,591 (47.3%) people were employed full-time, 16,233 (14.9%) were part-time, and 3,753 (3.4%) were unemployed.
The city hosts five major head offices – Port of Tauranga, Zespri International, Ballance Agri-Nutrients Ltd, Trustpower and Craigs Investment Partners (formerly, ABN AMRO Craigs). Tauranga is home to a large number of migrants, especially from the UK, attracted to the area by its climate and quality of life.
Government and politics
Tauranga is located in the administrative area of the Tauranga City Council. The council consists of ten councillors and a mayor. Four councillors are elected by the city at large; the remainder are elected from three wards (constituencies), with each ward electing two councillors:
- Te Papa / Welcome Bay
- Otūmoetai / Pyes Pa
- Mount Maunganui / Papamoa
Council elections are held every three years, most recently in 2019. In December 2020, the Minister of Local Government Nanaia Mahuta announced that, due to dysfunction within the elected council, the council would be replaced by commissioners until the 2022 local elections.
Much of the countryside surrounding Tauranga is horticultural land, used to grow a wide range of fresh produce for both domestic consumption and export. There are many kiwifruit and avocados orchards as well as other crops.
The Port of Tauranga is New Zealand's largest export port. It is a regular stop for both container ships and luxury cruise liners.
Tauranga's main shopping mall is Bayfair, in Mount Maunganui. Most of the city's shopping centres are located in the suburbs. They include Fraser Cove, Tauranga Crossing, Bethlehem Town Centre, Palm Beach Plaza, Fashion Island, Bayfair Shopping Centre, Bay Central and Greerton Village.
Tauranga has the following business innovation centres
The following companies have their head office in Tauranga:
- Ballance Agri-Nutrients
- Brother NZ
- C3 Limited
- Craigs Investment Partners Ltd
- Dominion Salt
- Genera Biosecurity
- Kiwi Bus Builders
- Port of Tauranga
- Shuzi New Zealand Limited
- Tidy International 
- Trimax Mowing Systems
- UNO. Magazine
- Zespri International
Arts and culture
A wide variety of faiths are practised, including Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Sikhism, Taoism and Judaism. There are many denominations of Christianity including Pentecostal, Methodist, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, Exclusive Brethren, Baptist and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).
The National Jazz Festival takes place in Tauranga every Easter.
New Year celebrations at the Mount in Mount Maunganui are one of Tauranga's main events, bringing people from all around the country.
Tauranga has a large stadium complex in the Bayfair suburb, Baypark Stadium, rebuilt in 2001 after a similar complex closed in 1995. It hosts Speedway events during summer and rugby matches in winter.
Tauranga is the home to two rowing clubs – Tauranga Rowing Club in Memorial Park and Bay of Plenty Coast Rowing Club at the picturesque Wairoa River. Both clubs have had successful NZ representation over the years.
Tauranga has an all weather outdoor athletics ground at Tauranga Domain.
City facilities and attractions
Greater Tauranga is a very popular lifestyle and tourism destination. It features many natural attractions and scenery ranging from popular beaches and harbour environments to lush bush-clad mountains with waterfalls and lakes.
Cultural attractions include the Tauranga Art Gallery, which opened in October 2007 and showcases local, national and international exhibitions in a range of media. On the 17th Avenue, the "Historic Village on 17th", recreates a historic setting with original and replica buildings from early Tauranga housing arts and gift shops.
Tauranga has many parks: one of the largest is Memorial Park, and others include, Yatton Park, Kulim Park, Fergusson Park and the large Tauranga Domain. The Te Puna Quarry Park has become a regional attraction, known for being converted from a disused quarry into a community park.
Due to the temperate climate, outdoor activities are very popular, including golf, tramping (hiking), mountain biking and white water rafting. The Bay of Plenty coastline has miles of golden sandy beaches, and watersports are very popular, including swimming, surfing, fishing, diving, kayaking and kitesurfing. Tourists also enjoy dolphin-watching on specially run boat trips.
The coastal suburb Papamoa and neighbouring town Mount Maunganui are some of the more affluent areas around Tauranga. The region's beaches attract swimmers, surfers, kayakers and kitesurfers throughout the year.
Tauranga has many outlying islands and reefs that make it a notable tourist destination point for travelling scuba divers and marine enthusiasts. Extensive marine life diversity is available to scuba divers all year round. Water temperatures range from 12 degrees Celsius in winter to 22–24 degrees Celsius in summer. Tauranga houses two professional dive instructor training centres, training NAUI, PADI and SSI dive leader systems.
Tauranga Hospital is a public secondary regional hospital located in Tauranga South, with 349 beds including neonatal, maternity and mental health care. It provides elective and emergency healthcare across medical, surgical, paediatric, obstetric, gynaecological and psychiatric services. The main tertiary referral centre for Tauranga Hospital is Waikato Hospital, located in Hamilton. As the site of the Bay of Plenty Clinical School, Tauranga Hospital provides training to medical students from the University of Auckland, as well as selective and elective placements for nursing and midwifery students.
Grace Hospital is Tauranga's only private specialist surgical hospital, located in Oropi.
Powerco operates the local distribution network in the city, with electricity supplied from Transpower's national grid at three substations: Tauranga (Greerton), Kaitemako and Mount Maunganui (Matapihi).
Natural gas arrived in Tauranga in 1982, following the completion of the high-pressure pipeline from the Maui pipeline near Te Awamutu to the city, now operated by First Gas. First Gas also operates the gas distribution network within the city.
Tauranga City Council is currently responsible for approximately 530 km of roads, 700 km of footpaths, cycle ways and access ways.
Tauranga City Council also has a bit of work under way with their Transportation and Roads strategy. Their aim for the future to change current travel behaviour from a focus on private cars to more sustainable modes such as buses, cycling and walking.
Tauranga Airport is served by several airlines offering flights to Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch as well as some regional destinations within New Zealand. Sunair is based in Tauranga, operating a fleet of light aircraft. Sunair operates from Tauranga Airport to Gisborne, Claris, Whitanga, Motiti Island and North Shore. In addition Barrier Air operates from Tauranga to Claris with a Partenavia P68.
Tauranga is located on the East Coast Main Trunk Railway.
Main transportation in the city is provided by the BayBus, with twelve routes servicing the city's population. Bay Hopper buses depart the central stops in Tauranga's CBD, Ohauiti, Mount Maunganui and Bayfair every 15 minutes, with the routes to Papamoa and Greerton half-hourly. Bee cards were introduced for fares on 27 July 2020.
The city is also a waypoint for bus travel between cities, with the Bay Hopper, and Intercity having a daily schedule.
Tauranga is home to the Bay of Plenty Tertiary Education Partnership, made up of:
- Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology, Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi
- The University of Waikato
- Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi
The organisations currently share two main campuses, but are planning a new central campus. Stage 1 is expected to be open in 2017, catering for 500 but with capacity for 700, which will cost $67.3 Million.
Tauranga's secondary schools are:
- Tauranga Boys' College, with about 1850 boys.
- Tauranga Girls' College, with over 1500 girls.
- Otumoetai College, with around 1900 students.
- Bethlehem College, a state integrated Christian school offering kindergarten and Year 1–13, with around 1500 students.
- Aquinas College a state integrated coeducational Catholic school founded in 2003 for Years 7–13, with around 800 students.
- Mount Maunganui College, a co-educational secondary school, with over 1500 students.
- Papamoa College, co-educational secondary school opened in 2011 for years 7 – 13.
- Te Wharekura o Mauao, a co-educational wharekura-ā-iwi total immersion Māori secondary school for Years 7–13, founded in 2010, with around 200 students.
- Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Kura Kōkiri, a co-educational kura kaupapa Māori total immersion school for Years 1–13, founded in 2000, with around 140 students.
There is also a Rudolf Steiner School in Welcome Bay, catering for birth to 12-year-olds.
- Corey Anderson – international cricketer
- Trent Boult – international cricketer
- Tyler Boyd – footballer
- Peter Burling – America's Cup helmsman and Olympic medallist
- Sam Cane – international rugby player
- Bob Clarkson – former Member of Parliament and property developer
- Dame Lynley Dodd – award-winning author and illustrator, principally known for her children's picture books featuring Hairy Maclary and his friends
- Mahé Drysdale – Olympic rower
- Tim Balme – actor, director
- John Bracewell – international cricketer
- Simon Bridges – politician; Former Leader of the New Zealand National Party
- Moss Burmester – Olympic swimmer
- Tony Christiansen – former Paralympics, FESPIC Games and World Games medallist, professional speaker and Tauranga City Councillor
- Dame Susan Devoy – former World Squash Champion
- Daniel Flynn – international cricketer
- Hilda Hewlett – pioneer aviator
- Gunnar Jackson – professional middleweight boxer
- Jess Johnson – artist
- Tanerau Latimer – former international rugby player
- Tony Lochhead – footballer
- Richard O'Brien – author of The Rocky Horror Show (spent his formative years here)
- Phil Rudd – drummer for AC/DC
- Andrew Stevenson – Olympic rower, Double World Champion Rower, NZ 1982 Sportsman of the Year
- Sir Gordon Tietjens – Coach of the New Zealand national rugby sevens team
- Kane Williamson – international cricketer
- Kathleen Hawkins – known as the "Pioneer Poet"
- Les Munro – Dambusters veteran
- Winston Peters – former MP for Tauranga, leader of NZ First, politician
- Stan Walker – R&B singer, Former Australian Idol contestant and winner
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