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About Hastings



Hastings and the surrounding district-although separate for much of their history-were socially one from the beginning.  An urbanised, industrial-age society grew and flourished in both town and country from the earliest settler days.  People looked to the city of Hastings for services and facilities regardless of where they lived; and people in both town and country relied on employment or enterprise to earn money for buying the food, medical facilities and other services they needed to survive.


The long summers and mild winters of the Hastings district, provide the perfect stimulant for a wide variety of delicious fresh produce.  Orchards are abundant and the climate is also perfect for apple and grape growing.

The local wine industry continues to grow and each February the region celebrates with Harvest Hawke's Bay.  Hastings boasts some of the regions 40 wineries where wine tasting, as well as restaurant or picnic dining, can be enjoyed.

Hastings is a showcase of Spanish Mission-style architecture and enjoys a diverse range of cultural attractions including the Hawke's Bay Exhibition Centre.  September heralds spring and the start of the Hastings Blossom Festival, full of concerts, celebrity artist performances and fun events.


Hastings' vibrant inner city square is regularly used for community performances, fairs and events, and the central city is home to an impressive display of public art works.

Grab and ice cream from local icon, Rush Munro's and take a leisurely stroll through the spectacular gardens of Frimley or Cornwall Park or drive down Oak Avenue with its Oak tree-lined canopy planed in the 1860's.

Also not to be missed is the Hawke's Bay Farmers Markets at the Hawke's Bay Show grounds every Sunday morning in Hastings.  Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of a traditional village market where you can talk to the grower and taste some of their wide ranging product types.

    2006:  Hastings Tourisim-Urban Walkway Tours  

First Settlement

The first settlement took place in 1864, when Thomas Tanner leased about 7000 hectares of the Heretaunga Plains from Maori owners.  Some years later a syndicate was formed to purchase this area and the Heretaunga Block was secured by 12 people who are often referred to as the "12 Apostles".  The purchase price was stated to have been about 30 shillings an acre.

In 1873 Francis Hicks (one of the syndicate) presented the Government with a section of land for the site of a railway station and decided to lay out 100 acres near this site for a township to be called Hastings.  133 sections were offered, the average price per acre being 56 pounds.

At that stage much of the area was still duck shooting swamp.  The original settlers of the Heretaunga Plains decided that Havelock North was to be the future city and it was only with the advent of the railway in 1874 that Hastings was chosen as the town site.

Years later the swamps were drained, population increased, and places of business prospered.  Fruit growing became an important industry, vineyards were established and by 1884 the town had a population of 614 and was constituted a town district.  Hastings was incorporated as a borough on 20 October 1886 and was the largest borough in New Zealand until April 1908, when a large portion was included in the Hawke's Bay county.  Hastings was proclaimed a city on 8 September 1956 and a district in 1989.

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Updated 20 Aug 2013

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