Whakatane

From Academic Kids

Whakatane (pronounced Fahk-ah-tah-neh) is a small town near the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand. It is located in the Bay of Plenty and 90 km east of Tauranga, 98 km north-east of Rotorua, at the mouth of the Whakatane River. Whakatane is the gateway to White Island, New Zealand's most active marine volcano. Whakatane is the seat of Whakatane District Council.

The towns main industries are diverse: forestry, dairy farming, fishing, tourism and manufacturing are all well-established. The town itself has a population of 18,000, with another 15,000 people living within the greater Whaktane district. Of the 33,000 people in the district, around 40% identify as being part Maori.

Contents

History

The site of the town has long been populated. Maori pa sites in the area date back to the first Polynesian settlements, estimated to have been around 1200 CE. Maori tradition suggests that they may be even earlier, and that this was the first settlement in New Zealand. According to some legends, travellers from this settlement back to the Pacific Islands triggered the great migration fleet of waka (canoes) to New Zealand.

The region around Whakatane was important during the New Zealand Wars of the mid 19th century. Its role culminated in 1869 with raids by Te Kooti's forces.

Flooding in 2004

Heavy rain struck the Bay of Plenty and Whakatane on 16-18 July 2004 causing severe flooding and resulting in a state of civil emergency being declared. Many homes and properties were flooded, forcing thousands of Whakatane residents to evacuate. The Rangitaiki River burst its banks, flooding large areas of farmland, and numerous roads were closed by floods and slips. A total of 245.8 mm of rain fell in Whakatane alone in the 48-hour period and many small earthquakes were also felt during this time, loosening the sodden earth and resulting in landslips that claimed 2 lives. These were the first earthquake deaths in New Zealand for nearly 40 years.

1987 Edgecumbe Earthquake

Whakatane was among the towns worst hit by the 1987 Edgecumbe Earthquake.

External link

Template:Territorial Authorities of New Zealand

Template:NZ-geo-stub

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