to Gisborne, New Zealand
Gisborne, situated in the Poverty Bay region of New Zealand,
the first city in the world to see the sun each day, is
located on the sunny East Coast of the North Island. The
Maori name for the district is Tairawhiti which means
"The coast upon which the sun shines across the water".
Gisborne is famous for it's surfing beaches, Makarori
Point being well known for its great surfing breaks.
Kaiti Beach, near the city, was where the Maori immigrational
waka, Horouta, landed; and is also the first European
landing place in New Zealand. Captain Cook first set foot
here in 1769. European settlement was established in 1831
and the town which developed was named after Hon. William
Gisborne, the Colonial Secretary, in 1870. Prior to this
the settlement was known as Turanga but confusion with
Tauranga, Bay of Plenty, led to the name change. To the
early Maori the Poverty Bay area was known as Turanganui-a-Kiwa,
"The stopping place of Kiwa". Gisborne became
a borough in 1877 and a city in 1955.
The Gisborne district (population 45,000 with about 30,000
residing in the city) generally has warm summers and mild
winters. Gisborne is one of the sunniest places in New
Zealand with average yearly sunshine of around 2200 hours.
The region's annual rainfall varies from about 1000mm
near the coast to over 2500mm in the higher inland country.
Temperatures of 38°C have been recorded and an average
65 days a year have a maximum of over 24°C.
When it comes to business and employment, Gisborne is
rich with opportunity.
Agriculture, forestry and associated manufacturing businesses
are the backbone of the district's economy. Abundant natural
resources and a stable, skilled workforce are attracting
new businesses in these sectors. The relatively low overheads
of a provincial centre, together with the benefits of
modern communications are increasingly attracting niche
market businesses. Wood processing is a growth sector
- volumes of radiata pine are set to increase dramatically
to a sustainable level of around 3.1 million cubic meters
in the year 2016. Tourism related industries are also
growing and attracting investment, as are enterprises
on light manufacturing and food processing. Gisborne-based
enterprises have shown innovation and excellence in a
variety of areas including cheese, beer, wine, cider,
popcorn, milk products, hosiery, surfboard production,
truffles, plastics, cashmere fibre production, organic
farming and oil extraction for perfume and health products
from the native manuka tree.
Gisborne's comparative seclusion from the more populous
areas of New Zealand, once a barrier to visitor traffic,
has become a tourism bonus. As the world yearns for clean
and green spaces, and for wilderness experience, tourists
have been looking increasingly to our uncrowded environment
with its areas of lake, forest, streams and beaches.
Tramping, hunting, white water rafting, canoeing, fishing
and all types of wilderness experiences are catered for
by our tour operators. For photographers and plant lovers,
the region is idyllic. Its 8300 square kilometres includes
the North Island's largest stand of native forest. It
also embraces one of New Zealand's most beautiful lakes,
Waikaremoana (a haven for trout fishing).
Only half an hour's drive from the city there is Eastwoodhill
arboretum which botanists have confirmed as the largest
collection of Northern Hemisphere tree and plant species
existing in the Southern Hemisphere. Further into the
hills, but on a main road, is Hackfalls arboretum which
includes a collection of 35 different varieties of rare
Mexican oaks. Both arboreta host plant-lovers and botanists
from throughout the world.
Our high proportion of Maori people adds a further dimension
� an opportunity to study their culture and tradition.
Trails have been opened up to provide access to historic
sites. Within the region are some of the finest examples
of Maori meeting-houses with their elaborate carving.Our
Waihirere Maori concert group was chosen to travel to
London to perform in the concert at the Royal Albert Hall
celebrating the 50th birthday of Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,
who began her singing development in Gisborne.
Painters, poets and potters abound, attracted to the region
both by the relaxed lifestyle and by the mystique of its
Maori culture which influences much of the art.