Napier, New Zealand

Napier is a coastal town on the Hawke Bay on the North Island of New Zealand. Those with more than 56,000 inhabitants, 14 - largest city is the capital of New Zealand Hawke 's Bay region and is managed as an independent city - district. Along with about ten kilometers southern Hastings it is the fifth largest metropolitan area in New Zealand, which is in English often referred to as the Twin Cities.

  • 4.1 Tourism
  • 4.2 Agriculture
  • 4.3 Industry
  • 5.1 Regular events


The city of Napier is located 332 km north-east of Wellington, New Zealand's capital, at the foot of Bluff Hill at the southern end of Hawke Bay, a bay that characterizes most of the east coast of New Zealand's North Island. In the interior into it extensive, fertile plains, the Heretaunga Plains extend. The area around Napier is located, as large parts of New Zealand, at a fracture zone, which runs from north to south. In the heavy Hawke's Bay earthquake of 1931 caused only a large part of today's shoreline because the ground then raised by two meters.

In the east the city from the South Pacific, and from the other three sides by the Hastings District is limited.


The average duration of sunshine is among the highest in the country. The area around Napier also has a fairly low average rainfall and the city can look forward to relatively high temperatures, although it is located directly on the sea. The main reason is that the wind usually comes from the west in New Zealand and therefore also decreases the rain from west to east. Napier itself is located in the particular situation that the city in the rain shadow of the Volcanic Plateau and the Kaweka Range lies to the east.

Napier is located in the catchment area of tropical typhoons that can still have gale force upon their arrival in the Hawke Bay.


Before Europeans came to New Zealand and also taken in the region to Napier from the land of Māori ownership, lived differently Māori tribes in the area, which today are part of the greater metropolitan area of ​​Napier. Lastly, there were the Ngāti Kahungunu who settled in the country and they were there to where the first Europeans, such as James Cook in the years 1769 and 1770 had contact.

Traders, whalers and missionaries were the first Europeans who settled after the announcement of the new country in the lagoon and the bay of the later Napier. In the 1850s, then followed by farmers and hoteliers. 1851 bought the government's so-called Ahuriri block, named after the Māori chief Tu Ahuriri and two years later the government commissioner for land matters Donald McLean bought the land should be built on the later Napier. At this time the Hawke's Bay region belonged to the province of Wellington.

1854, the Government Commissioner and later prime minister Alfred Domett was used as a magistrate for the block of land, Ahuriri. His task was to form from the settlement a town and to develop zoning and development plans. He named the settlement after the British General Sir Charles Napier, who had rendered outstanding services to the British Crown in colonial India.

1858, after Hawke 's Bay Province was an independent, Napier should be the capital of the new province. 1874 Napier was then raised to the Borough, had thus been given the status of a self-governing city and on January 18th 1875, the first election was held for the City Council. By 1876 Napier was thus the administrative center of the Hawke 's Bay region, but with the Abolition of Provinces Act ( law abolishing the provinces ) the administration of the region was struck again Wellington.

The development of the city at that time was largely confined to the areas around the harbor and the development of the island of Iceland Scinde, which forms the Bluff Hill today. However, the settlement area around Napier was spread across several islands, between which there were extensive wetlands. This changed abruptly when Napier and the rest of Hawke's Bay was shaken on 3 February 1931 by an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 on the Richter scale MS. Napier was completely destroyed by the quake and the subsequent large fire, the neighboring town of Hastings hit hard.

Due to the earthquake the ground was raised by partially by up to 2.7 meters, so emerged from the Ahuriri Lagoon, from the large tidal flats 40 km2 territory. On this land was Napier's new lifestyle center Ahuriri. The earthquake, the city lost their functioning administration and the political leadership, so that by 1933 a government-appointed, consisting of two persons Commission determined the fate of the city. After Kummunalwahl in 1933, the city got its status of a Borough back in 1950 and got finally the full city rights.

Despite the ongoing effects of the global economic crisis in the early 1930s when the city Napier was rebuilt in the Art Deco style. " Let's start a new era ," the message to the people of the city should be. For architecture students and the unemployed were sent from around the country to Napier and entrusted with the reconstruction. The pastel colors are created here out of necessity, and the colors were stretched with water. In addition, Art Deco was one of the best options to rebuild the city, as concrete slabs could be used as a cheaper building materials and the decoration of the houses in this style was relatively easy.


According to a census were living in 2006 55.359 people in Napier, representing an increase of 3.2 % since the last census in 2001. The ethnic distribution of Napier is characterized by a high proportion of Europeans, so make of this 72.4 % of the population, the national average is 67.6 %. 18.2 % of residents counted themselves among the Māori population, while the remaining 9.4% to other population groups. Note: In the New Zealand census, it is possible to be attributable to several ethnic groups.

The unemployment rate is at 4.8 %, slightly lower than the national average of 5.1 %, while the average income of $ 22,700 is significantly lower than the national average of $ 24.400.



Napier is visited due to its unique architecture and its pleasant climate of increasing numbers of tourists. The city's attractions are very versatile: Sea runs the Marine Parade, a beautiful waterfront. Here are several attractions for visitors. Especially well-kept gardens, such as the " Sunken Gardens " or the small golf course and a roller skating rink offer variety.

A popular photo opportunity is the statue of Pania (English Pania of the Reef ), which is attributed a major role in Polynesian mythology. For the city of Napier statue has the same meaning as the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen about.


Because of the favorable climate and the flat situation in the Heretaunga Plains are Napier and Hastings neighboring a center for the cultivation of fruits, such as apples, peaches, kiwi fruit or especially in recent times, including wine grapes. Also in Napier increases the production of high quality wines.


Companies operating in Napier are varied and spread across various industries. In addition to companies in the electronics sector here are large fertilizer producers and wineries. Napier has the largest wool processing company in the southern hemisphere. Furthermore, there is a significant tobacco industry in Napier. With the reference to " declining tobacco consumption" British American Tobacco announced plans to relocate the resident Rothmans factory to Australia.

Culture and sights

Architectural interested Napier is considered the best preserved Art Deco city, only in South Beach ( Miami) are similar to many Art Deco buildings. Although some of the unique buildings in the 1960s to the 1980s, replaced by new buildings, the majority of the city center, which is since the 1990s listed building, almost completely preserved. Many Art Deco buildings have been restored in recent years. Particularly interesting are the Masonic Hotel, the Criterion Hotel, the Daily Telegraph Building, Countrywide Bank, whose dome is now the symbol of Napier A & B Building, and the theater, with its Egyptian -style columns and arches.

See also List of monuments in Napier.

Regular events

Organised by the Art Deco Trust Art Deco Weekend in February attracts visitors and tourists from all over the world. At different events Napier makes the life and culture of the 1930s rise again.

Since 1993, the open-air concert Mission Estate Winery Concert will be held on the grounds of the Mission Estate Winery near Napier annually. Headlining is usually an internationally known artist. In the past, even the likes of Ray Charles, Eric Clapton and Tom Jones came on.


The railway line is traveled at the time for economic reasons only by freight trains. An airport which is served by the major cities of the country, opens the tourists Hawke 's Bay region, the Twin Cities and the Gisborne region in the far northeast of the North Island. The marina offers good opportunities to export the goods produced in and around Napier in the world.

Sons and daughters of the town

  • Sidney Charles Bartholemew Gascoigne, astronomer
  • Megan Gay, Actress
  • Denis McLean, diplomat, university professor and author


  • Canada Victoria, British Columbia (Canada)
  • China People's Republic of Lianyungang, Jiangsu Province (China)
  • China People's Republic of Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province (China)
  • Japan Tomakomai, Hokkaidō Prefecture (Japan)