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  1. teara.govt.nz

    Land and climate

    rupture of land that geologists had ever known. When the earth moved In June 1942, a young Tīnui soldier ...

  2. teara.govt.nz

    Plants and animals

    Vegetation Before humans arrived, Wairarapa was largely covered in conifer–broadleaf and beech forest. By the time Europeans came, burnoff by Māori and natural fires had left large areas of grass, fern and scrubland in the south and east. The Tararua Rang ...

  3. teara.govt.nz

    Māori settlement

    First arrivals Archaeologists believe Māori settled in Palliser Bay in the late 1300s. They lived on small birds, fish, seals and kūmara (sweet potato). There is evidence that about 300 people lived in six separate communities on the eastern side of the b ...

  4. teara.govt.nz

    European settlement

    Exploration The British explorer James Cook sailed along Wairarapa’s coast in February 1770, naming the large bay on the south coast after his friend and patron Sir Hugh Palliser. The first European to enter Wairarapa was William Deans, who walked along t ...

  5. teara.govt.nz

    A farming economy

    Wairarapa's economy is dominated by pastoral farming. The industry is dominated by sheep and beef cattle, and dairying. In 2012 the region, including all of the Tararua district, had 10% of New Zealand’s sheep (3.1 million) and 3.6% of its dairy catt ...

  6. teara.govt.nz

    Diversifying the economy

    Pastoral farming has dominated the economy since the 1840s. It still accounted for 20% of the Wairarapa workforce in the 2010s. Boom and bust Reliance on farming has been a mixed blessing. Towns serviced the pastoral economy with saleyards, slaughterhouse ...

  7. teara.govt.nz

    Forestry, fishing and horticulture

    While pastoral farming is the Wairarapa’s main industry, forestry, fishing and horticulture are important and growing players in the economy. Forestry Wairarapa (including the whole Tararua district) had around 67,900 hectares planted in exotic forest in ...

  8. teara.govt.nz

    Society

    Landed gentry In the 19th century, farming made many runholders very rich. Wairarapa families such as the Riddifords, Pharazyns and Martins became substantial landowners and managed large workforces. They had a paternalistic relationship with their staff, ...

  9. teara.govt.nz

    A divided region

    Population divide Census data show a geographical and rural–urban divide in Wairarapa. After a long period of decline, the region’s population stabilised in the early 2000s, then grew by 5% between 2006 and 2013. The population had grown in the south, but ...

  10. teara.govt.nz

    Transport

    Roads Wairarapa has no natural harbours, so access was tricky at first. While Māori had a system of tracks and waka (canoe) landing sites, Europeans walked round the coast from Wellington or were ferried from boat to beach, as at Castlepoint. Roads connec ...

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