is situated in the Bay of Plenty in the North Island of New
Zealand the centre of the Bay of Plenty. Tauranga is the bustling,
confident port city where pleasure craft jostle in the marinas
and charter vessels operate fishing, scuba diving and dolphin-watching
trips. There is no shortage of shopping and dining in Tauranga
either. This, after all, is the centre of the Bay of Plenty,
a region experiencing steady population growth. Tauranga is
situated in the Bay of Plenty in the North Island of New Zealand.
Travel to Tauranga is home to the busy Port of Tauranga. Tauranga
has first class hotel, motels, hotels, and accommodation.
and Mount Maunganui. is only 10 minutes away over the harbour
bridge. So buy a map, look at real estate for sale, and look
for jobs in Tauranga.
TO THE BAY OF PLENTY REGION OF NEW ZEALAND
A BAY WITH PLENTY TO OFFER.
New Zealand Herald, Sunday June 18, 2006, By Richard
A year ago I stood on the deck of an ocean liner that
was sailing off the Bay of Plenty from Wellington
to Auckland. A great arc of bay greeted those of us
leaning against the ship's rail. At the southern end,
a circle of mist hung over volcanic White Island.
To the north, a sprinkle of islands floated under
More than 220 years before, Captain Cook had sailed
into these waters and named the area the Bay of Plenty.
The explorer had come upon many diverse landforms
during his epic voyages in the late 18th century,
but his encounter with the central northeast coast
of New Zealand must have pleased him well.
The name he gave to the sweep of ocean beaches, accommodating
harbour and fertile hinterland has stuck with good
reason. The Bay of Plenty is a popular holiday destination,
offering beaches with pounding surf as well as scenic
lakes further inland.
Tauranga is the bustling, confident port city where
pleasure craft jostle in the marinas and charter vessels
operate fishing, scuba diving and dolphin-watching
trips. There is no shortage of shopping and dining
in Tauranga either. This, after all, is the centre
of the Bay of Plenty, a region experiencing steady
But it's nearby Mt Maunganui that kick-starts the
Bay of Plenty's beachside flavour. It feels like a
year-round holiday resort with long-boarders hitching
up their shorts on their way to catch a wave. Most
of the shops are geared to kitting you out for the
beach or boat. The aroma of coffee beans swirls down
the main street from a bevy of cafes. And looming
over this leisurely scene like a sentinel is "The
The choice of beaches adds to the feeling of abundance
in the Bay. Separated from each other by small headlands,
they stretch from the ocean and harbour beaches of
the Mount to Papamoa Beach 15 minutes south. About
the same drive-time south again, via the Whakatane
highway, is Pukehina. My favourite. Here you can dig
your toes into the cream-coloured sand without the
growing population of permanent residents and statement-striving
dwellings of the Mount and Papamoa peering over your
Pukehina is still the realm of holiday houses where
the itinerant owners covet the comparatively laid-back
environment and two shops.
Some of the seaside homes are offered for weekend
and holiday rent. So keep your eyes peeled in the
baches-to-rent newspaper columns. And prepare yourself
for the seaside mix of fishing, boating and blobbing
out. When the weather cools off too much for swimming
the locals head to Katikati for a soak in the hot
springs. Katikati also has several vineyards and a
handful of quirky cafes.
The Bay of Plenty offers a raft of holiday accommodation,
either by the beach or in the countryside. Te Puke,
about 15 minutes' drive inland from Pukehina, is typical
of the attractive rural towns of the region, as well
as being the centre of a thriving orchard region.
Nearby is Paengaroa, which supplements farming income
with business nous. Rock up to the village of Paengaroa
- not too fast or you'll miss it - and you will find
tourist excursion booking services for the Bay's many
attractions. Paengaroa's honey centre is a tourist
A long weekend is definitely needed if the southern
end of the Bay of Plenty is to get a look-in. Whakatane,
the visitor-friendly town anchoring the southeast,
has charm, not to mention strategic proximity to White
Island, the brooding spectacle that is a star attraction
in the Bay.
So after you have admired the civic pride and hospitality,
illustrated by the colourful flower beds and numerous
cafes lining the city streets, and when you have explored
the nearby beaches, there will come the temptation
to get a closer look at White Island.
Walking on White Island is like walking on a moonscape.
The ancient volcano lying 50km offshore from Whakatane
is home to bright yellow and white sulphur crystals
sparkling amid hissing and steaming vapour. Captain
Cook, the first European to sight the island, noted
in 1769: "We called it White for as such it always
appeared to us." He could have been referring
to the dense steam that hangs over this constantly
Long before Europeans discovered it, Maori were collecting
sulphur from the island for garden manure and steam-cooking
nesting birds. White Island passed to European ownership
in the 1830s which led to a fever of sulphur mining.
But its owners and the government declared White Island
a private scenic reserve in 1953. The native birds
are now protected and access to the still privately
owned island is restricted in order to preserve its
unique and fascinating landscape.
Only a third of White Island, estimated to be between
150,000 and 200,000 years old, rises above the sea.
The moody, restless volcano can work itself up from
a simmer to a roar with plenty of rumbling and smoking
in between. Therefore, the island remains under constant
surveillance for scientific purposes and to ensure
The immense main crater lake is fired by jets steaming
from earth's inner cauldron. Close by are two more
craters and the moonscape view of White Island below
pulses with thermal energy - boiling pools and sulphurous
steam. On their rocky promontories, gannet colonies
add their own splashes of vibrant black, white and
yellow. For a close encounter with White Island you
have a choice of designated helicopter and boat tour
operators. Scenic flights depart from Tauranga, Rotorua
and Whakatane, the latter being the closest.
Boat tours leave from Tauranga and Whakatane and take
about 80 minutes. You can land on the island with
these companies, all of whom carry safety equipment.
Tours include one to two hour walks around the island.
Boat trips are sometimes accompanied by pods of dolphins.
First settlers The
earliest known settlers arrived from the Takitimu and
Mataatua waka in the 12th century. It was named "Tauranga",
meaning "landing place".
Early trading Traders
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 trader
was James Farrow, who traveled to Tauranga in 1829,
obtaining flax fibre for Australian merchants in exchange
for muskets and gunpowder. Farrow acquired half an acre
of land on 10 January 1838 at Otumoetai Pa- from the
chiefs Tupaea, Tangimoana and Te Omanu, the earliest
authenticated land purchase in the Bay of Plenty.
the 1820s, missionaries from the Bay of Islands visited
the Tauranga district to obtain supplies of potatoes,
pigs and flax. In 1840, a Catholic mission station was
established. Bishop Pompallier was given land within
the palisades of Otumoetai Pa- for a church and a presbytery.
The mission station closed in 1863 due to land wars
in the Waikato district.
Maori Wars The Tauranga
Campaign took place in and around Tauranga, from 21
January 1864 to 21 June 1864, during the Ma-ori Wars.
The Battle of Gate Pa is the most well-known. Origins
This campaign started as a side show to the Invasion
of the Waikato, where British Imperial Troops, on
behalf of the New Zealand Colonial Government, were
fighting a confederation of Ma-ori tribes known as
the King Movement. The Kingites were receiving assistance,
both materials and recruits, from many of the tribes
in the North Island. In an effort to curb this flow
of support the British sent an expedition to Tauranga,
a major harbour in the Bay of Plenty, some 100 km
east of the conflict in the Waikato.
intention was merely to establish a base and adopt
a defensive posture. However the local Ma-ori, Ngai
Te Rangi, could not afford to assume that this would
always be the case. They responded with threats, insults,
abuse, a programme of increasing provocation and then
began raiding the British camp. Finally they built
a strong Pa-, a fortress or defensive position only
5km from the British camp.
British commander, Colonel Greer, could not ignore
this. Not only did it restrict his freedom of movement
but it also limited his control of Tauranga Harbour.
He applied to Auckland for reinforcements so he could
go on the offensive. His request arrived in Auckland
just as the active conflict in Waikato ended. The
British commander, General Duncan Cameron, had just
returned to Auckland where he had been experiencing
a lot of criticism from the press and the Colonial
government, who saw the Waikato Campaign as a failure.
True, they had conquered and annexed a lot of territory
but this had always been only the unspoken objective.
The ostensible reason for invading the Waikato had
been decisively to beat the Ma-ori in battle and draw
an end to the King Movement. It is reasonable to assume
that Cameron saw Tauranga as a chance to achieve a
decisive victory. Whatever the reasons, he immediately
sailed for Tauranga with his entire reserve, bringing
the garrison up to 1700 men.
fighting had already broken out nearby. A large contingent
of East Coast Ma-ori, possibly as many as 700 warriors,
were making their way towards the conflict at Waikato.
Their route took them through the territory of another
tribe which saw themselves as allies of the Pa-keha-,
the Arawa tribe based around Rotorua. Forewarned of
this, the Arawa chiefs called back their tribesmen,
many of whom were working in Auckland or further north.
Pausing only in Tauranga to borrow guns from the British,
they hastened onward to Rotorua. Four hundred warriors
of the tribe were mobilized and they met and held
the East Coast Ma-ori on 7 April in a two day battle
on the shores of Lake Rotoiti.
invaders fell back towards Maketu, a small settlement
on the coast south east of Tauranga. A contingent
of British troops and Colonial Militia hastily occupied
the area and built a substantial redoubt on a nearby
hilltop. In the event the enemy did not arrive for
two weeks, until 27 April by which time a pair of
field guns had also been installed. When they eventually
arrived the East Coast Ma-ori surrounded the redoubt
and began digging trenches. The rest of the day was
spent in desultory gun fire that achieved very little.
following day reinforcements for the defenders arrived
in the form of 300 Te Arawa warriors and two British
naval steamships, one of them a heavily armed corvette.
These were able to anchor close in to shore and bombard
the attackers at will. The East Coast Ma-ori soon
found their position untenable and had to retreat.
They tried to dig in further down the coast but were
promptly attacked by the militia, the New Zealand
Forest Rangers led by Captain Thomas McDonnell. A
running fight through the sand dunes ensued and continued
until dusk and was then resumed in the morning with
the Arawa Ma-ori lending enthusiastic assistance.
Meanwhile the two naval ships kept pace with the fighting
and any of the enemy Ma-ori coming too close to the
shore line was met with cannon fire.
the East Coast Ma-ori dispersed into the swamps and
Battle of Gate Pa Gate
Pa- is the name given to a fortress the Ma-ori built
only 5km from the main British base at Tauranga. The
name comes from its appearance, the palisade looked
liked a picket fence while a higher part in the middle
resembled a gate. By the end of April the British were
ready to attack. They had 1700 men and were opposed
by merely 230 Ma-ori, it looked like a good opportunity
to score a decisive victory.
heavy bombardment began at daybreak on 29 April 1864
and continued for eight hours. The British had 15
artillery pieces, including one of 110 pounds (50
kg). By mid afternoon the Pa- looked as if it had
been demolished and there was a large breach in the
centre of the palisade. At 4 p.m. the barrage was
lifted and 300 troops were sent up to capture and
secure the position.
ten minutes well over a hundred of them were dead
or wounded. There was no second assault. During the
night the Ma-ori gave assistance to the wounded and
collected their weapons, by day break they had abandoned
Pa- was the single most devastating defeat suffered
by the British military in the whole of the Ma-ori
Cameron was an able commander of the Imperial forces;
in his past experiences, he witnessed the cost of
making a frontal assault on a defended Pa- and he
was concerned with the safety of his troops. Nevertheless,
he ordered such an assault on Gate Pa-. It seems likely
that he believed the bombardment had been long and
intense enough to extinguish all resistance from within
the Pa. One historian calculated that Gate Pa- absorbed
in eight hours a greater weight of explosives per
square metre than did the German trenches in the week
long bombardment leading up to the Battle of the Somme
in World War I. If true then Cameron's assumption
seems to have been a reasonable one.
Gate Pa- wasn't quite what it appeared to be. From
the British positions it looked like a fairly large
strongpoint occupying the entire hill top. In fact
it was much smaller, being two low redoubts on either
side of the ridge joined by a deep trench about forty
metres long and the whole shielded by a strong wooden
palisade. It seems likely that British concentrated
their barrage towards the centre, that is where the
palisade had collapsed and that is where the attack
went in. Meanwhile the two redoubts had been very
strongly built with deep and effective bombproof shelters.
The Ma-ori may have been deafened by the bombardment,
but as soon as it ended they were able to unleash
a devastating ambush.
contemporaries Gate Pa- was seen as a shattering defeat.
Indeed it was. The perception was that 1700 elite
British troops had been defeated by 230 half naked
savages. The arrogance of the settlers and the hubris
of the British Empire took a serious blow. Governor
George Grey came down to Tauranga and began peace
negotiations. Cameron returned to Auckland leaving
Colonel Greer in command, with orders to patrol aggressively
and, if he found Maori digging in or attempting to
create a pa, to attack immediately and disrupt the
Battle of Te Ranga The
Tauranga campaign seemed to be over and then suddenly
balance swung once again. Colonel Greer was conducting
patrols around his base, in strength, i.e. with 600
men. On 21 June he came upon a force of about 500 Ma-ori
building a new Pa- at Te Ranga, some seven kilometres
from his base. They had done little more than dig a
few shallow trenches. However Greer had sufficient respect
for his enemy that he immediately called for reinforcements.
This was the opportunity Cameron had always been looking
for, to be able to meet the Ma-ori in the open. The
Ma-ori fought desperately but they were overwhelmed
by the British soldiery. They only broke and fled when
their commander, Rawiri, was killed.
success at Te Ranga was hailed as a great British
victory, one that wiped out the shame of the defeat
at Gate Pa. It certainly did a great deal to restore
British morale particularly for the 43rd Regiment
which was involved in both engagements and had lost
many men at Gate Pa.
negotiations were resumed but the Pa-keha- were negotiating
on equitable terms and were not in a position to insist
on an unconditional surrender. A few firearms were
surrendered, mostly old and rusty muskets. Some land
was confiscated but very little compared with what
was happening in the Waikato. Also the Government
agreed to supply the Ma-ori with food and seed until
they got their crops re-established.
the time it was said that the Ma-ori achieved this
favourable settlement only because Governor Grey had
a Ngai Te Rangi girlfriend. Possibly, although it
might have been because General Cameron withdrew the
British Imperial Troops from Tauranga and would allow
them no further involvement.
they were needed in the Wanganui area. By now the
Second Taranaki War was well underway and the New
Zealand government was fighting on two fronts.
Battle of Te Ranga, 21 June 1864 was the last serious
engagement of the Tauranga campaign. Insofar as the
Tauranga Campaign was a sideshow of the Waikato War
it also marks the tacit end of that conflict. There
was no real peace treaty or truce, the two sides just
stopped fighting each other.
Modern age As of
2008, Tauranga is a fast growing city in New Zealand.
The population at the June 2008 estimate was 116,000,
meaning that the city has tripled in size in a little
over 25 years. The population increase is due mostly
to retirees settling in the city, and sun and surf seekers.
It is also a popular lifestyle city. Although the population
has increased dramatically, the city is proportionally
underrepresented in businesses other than retail which
is over-saturated, and the CBD reflects
a city of less than half the population as that of Tauranga.
This is mainly because of many outer suburb areas having
shopping centres including Fraser Cove, Fashion Island
and Palm Beach Plaza spreading retail dollars thin in
the area as property values and rents are very high.
Tauranga has earned the nickname "ten dollar Tauranga"
in the past, due to low wage rates, but wages have increased
and even the minimum wage is now $12 per hour.