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  1. teara.govt.nz

    Landscapes and climate

    Geologically, the Whanganui region is part of a basin that has filled over time with marine sediments and volcanic debris. It is sinking in the south and rising in the north. Landforms There are four broad landform zones: the Waimarino plain and adjacent ...

  2. teara.govt.nz

    Vegetation and human impact

    Early vegetation Before humans settled in New Zealand around 1250–1300 CE, the Whanganui region was covered by forest, except for small areas of red tussock and scrub in the Moawhango River headwaters in the southern Kaimanawa Mountains. The forest was mo ...

  3. teara.govt.nz

    Māori tradition

    The tribes of the Whanganui region each trace their main line of descent from one of three canoes: the Aotea, the Tākitimu  and the Kurahaupō. Aotea Ngā Rauru Kītahi take their name from the ancestor Rauru Kītahi, who lived in the Waitōtara area before th ...

  4. teara.govt.nz

    European settlement, 1840–1860

    Difficulties In late 1846 fear of attack by upper river Māori led to the garrisoning of Whanganui by soldiers ... but opposed the presence of soldiers. Tension mounted in April 1847 when four members of the Gilfillan ... time nearly 800 soldiers were protecting fewer than 200 settlers. On 19 July 1847 an indecisive ...

  5. teara.govt.nz

    A troubled decade – the 1860s

    Through the 1860s many upriver Māori challenged the authority of the colonial government. So did other Māori along the coast north-west of Whanganui. Both groups were part of a wider movement that spread across the central North Island. Whanganui, at the ...

  6. teara.govt.nz

    Forging a region, 1870s–1920s

    From 1870 to 1930, European settlement advanced into the Whanganui hinterland on the back of purchases of Māori land, road and railway building, and the felling and burning of forest to create pasture. Whanganui expanded rapidly, and for two generations i ...

  7. teara.govt.nz

    Hard times, easier times, 1920s–1960s

    Depression The Whanganui region’s rapid expansion in the half-century before 1920 concealed a vulnerability. Pioneering had created work in the sawmills, and on the railway and roads, but the farms themselves did not employ many people – and when produce ...

  8. teara.govt.nz

    Fighting stagnation, 1970s and beyond

    Since the 1970s, neither Whanganui region nor the city has grown fast, but a series of initiatives has helped both to hold their own. New activities New economic activities took off in the 1970s and 1980s, mostly in resources such as timber, fish and iron ...

  9. teara.govt.nz

    Māori and Pākehā

    Population Before the settlement of Whanganui was founded in 1840, the population was entirely Māori. The European population grew rapidly after nearby fighting ended in 1869, and as other parts of the region were settled. By 1886 the region had 15,000 no ...

  10. teara.govt.nz

    Government

    Provincial government When Wellington province was established in 1853, the Whanganui region was part of it. Separation from Wellington was discussed but rejected at meetings in Whanganui in 1859 and 1860. Unsuccessful petitions for separation were presen ...

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