Napier-Hastings Urban Area

The Napier-Hastings Urban Area was defined by Statistics New Zealand (Stats NZ) as a main urban area of New Zealand that was based around the twin cities of Napier and Hastings in the Hawke's Bay Region. It was defined under the New Zealand Standard Areas Classification 1992 (NZSAC92), which has since been superseded by the Statistical Standard for Geographic Areas 2018 (SSGA18).

Napier-Hastings Urban Area
Napier-Hastings Urban Area is located in New Zealand
Napier-Hastings Urban Area
Napier-Hastings Urban Area
Coordinates: 39°35′0″S 176°51′0″E / 39.58333°S 176.85000°E / -39.58333; 176.85000
CountryNew Zealand
RegionHawke's Bay
 • Territorial5,335 km2 (2,060 sq mi)
9 m (30 ft)
 (June 2018)[1]
 • Territorial139,600
 • Density26/km2 (68/sq mi)
 • Urban
4120, 4122

The urban area lay mostly on the Heretaunga Plains, with part on surrounding hills. It was a city cluster consisting of the cities of Napier and Hastings, the town of Havelock North and some smaller settlements. It was the sixth-most-populous urban area in the country under the NZSAC92, with 134,500 residents,[1] fewer than Tauranga (141,600) and more than Dunedin (122,000).

While the two cities are separated by 9 km (5.6 mi) of rural land from city edge to edge (20 km from one city centre to the next), there is sufficient economic and social integration between the cities that Stats NZ treated them as a single urban area. Stats NZ also subdivided the urban area into urban zones, as they did for the urban areas of Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington. The Napier-Hastings Urban Area contains about three-quarters of the population of the entire Hawke's Bay.

Under SSGA18, Stats NZ split up the Napier-Hastings Urban Area for statistical purposes. It was split into two "large urban areas" (30,000 to 99,999 population) of Napier and Hastings, the "medium urban area" (10,000 to 29,999) of Havelock North, the "small urban area" (1,000 to 9,999) of Clive, and the "rural settlements" (300 to 999) of Haumoana, Te Awanga, Whakatu and Whirinaki.[2] Some settlements of less than 300 that were included in the Napier-Hastings Urban Area were left out entirely, including Eskdale, Omahu, Pakipaki, Pakowhai and Waiohiki. Stats NZ similarly split Wellington into Lower Hutt, Porirua, Upper Hutt and the urban part of Wellington City under SSGA18.

Satellite photo of southern Hawke Bay, including all of the Napier-Hastings Urban Area

Urban zonesEdit

Hastings Urban ZoneEdit

Hastings Urban Zone lay within Hastings District and included Hastings, Havelock North and localities from Omahu and Pakowhai in the north, Pakipaki in the west, to settlements near the coast from Clive to Te Awanga. The main urban zone of Hastings contained around 68,000 people.[citation needed] Hastings hosts the regional hospital, showgrounds, racecourse, newspaper print, sports park and a water park.

Hastings on its own would have been the 8th largest urban area in New Zealand.

Napier Urban ZoneEdit

Napier Urban Zone consisted of Napier city and two parts of Hastings District that adjoin it: the EskdaleWhirinaki area to the north and the Waiohiki area to the south. Napier hosts the region's port (the majority of export coming from Hastings' industry and food processing), airport, High Court and polytechnic college, and the regional council headquarters.

Napier on its own would have been the 10th largest urban area in New Zealand.

Coordinates: 39°35′S 176°51′E / 39.583°S 176.850°E / -39.583; 176.850


Amalgamation is an ongoing debate for Napier and Hastings residents. Both cities have previously had smaller amalgamations (Napier absorbed Taradale, Hastings absorbed Havelock North in the local government reforms of 1989).

There was a referendum on forming a joint Hastings and Napier in 1999, which resulted in 75% 'no' vote from Napier residents, and a 64% 'yes' vote from Hastings residents. Many say the referendum was called too early and many Napier residents were still bitter about the closing of Napier Hospital in 1998 and making Hastings Hospital the only public hospital in the region.

A proposal in 2015 was for the new council to also absorb the Wairoa and Central Hawkes Bay councils to make a super regional council of 150,000 people.[3] This amalgamation referendum was held in September 2015, the majority of voters (~66%) rejected the proposal in favour of the status quo.[4]

Part of recognition of New Zealand's sixth-largest population centre is being labelled that way. Many residents have brought forth renaming the city to reflect this to the rest of the nation instead of referring to the cities by their current separate names. Names proposed include:

  • Heretaunga (the name of the plains upon which both cities are situated)
  • Hawkes Bay City (reflecting both recognised location and 'city' status)
  • Hawke (again, coinciding with the name of the region)
  • The Bay City (This perhaps is more in jest, and is already a common nickname)
  • Napier-Hastings (The status quo, but still does not address the issue)


Hawke's Bay is one of the most seismically active regions in New Zealand, and Napier-Hastings has experienced many large earthquakes. More than 50 damaging earthquakes have rocked the area since the European colonisation in the 1800s. Some of the more notable are listed below.

Date Location Magnitude (ML) Depth Fatalities More information
8 July 1843 25 km west of Tikokino 7.6 12 km 2
22 February 1863 Waipukurau 7.5 25 km 1863 Hawke's Bay earthquake
5 October 1911 Hastings 5.6 33 km
28 June 1921 Kaweka Forest Park 7.0 80 km
3 February 1931 20 km north of Napier 7.8 20 km 256 killed, thousands injured 1931 Hawke's Bay earthquake
8 February 1931 Wairoa 6.4 60 km
13 February 1931 50 km east of Napier 7.3 30 km
16 September 1932 Wairoa 6.9 12 km
15 March 1934 Mohaka 6.1 25 km
26 February 1940 Hastings 6.0 25 km
31 January 1958 Waipawa 6.1 12 km
5 October 1980 Hastings 5.7 30 km
11 April 1993 Hastings 6.1 38 km
15 October 2001 Hastings 5.8 40 km
25 August 2008 Hastings 5.9 31 km


The Eastern Institute of Technology is based at Taradale and is the main regional tertiary education centre for the Hawke's Bay and Gisborne regions, with campuses at Taradale, Auckland and Gisborne.

Secondary schools
Name Gender Area Decile Roll Website MOE
Flaxmere College Coed Flaxmere 1 297 [1] 134
Hastings Boys' High School Boys Hastings 2 810 [2] 227
Hastings Christian School Coed Hastings 7 322 [3] 443
Hastings Girls' High School Girls Hastings 2 554 [4] 228
Havelock North High School Coed Havelock North 8 1120 [5] [6]
Hohepa Home School Coed Taradale 8 30 4109
Iona College Girls Havelock North 9 318 [7] 224
Karamu High School Coed Hastings 4 903 [8] 229
Lindisfarne College Boys Hastings 10 532 [9] 230
Napier Boys' High School Boys Napier 6 899 [10] 216
Napier Girls' High School Girls Napier 7 958 [11] 217
Sacred Heart College Girls Napier 5 256 [12] 219
St John's College Boys Hastings 4 418 [13] 226
St Joseph's Māori Girls' College Girls Taradale 3 119 [14] 222
Taikura Rudolf Steiner School Coed Hastings 6 286 [15] 231
Tamatea High School Coed Napier 3 323 [16] 218
Taradale High School Coed Taradale 8 1082 [17] 215
TKKM o Ngati Kahungunu Ki Heretaunga Coed Flaxmere 1 187 2445
TKKM o Te Ara Hou Coed Napier 2 243 3107
William Colenso College Coed Napier 2 343 [18] 220
Woodford House Girls Havelock North 9 355 [19] 225


  1. ^ a b "Subnational Population Estimates: At 30 June 2019". Statistics New Zealand. 22 October 2019. Retrieved 11 January 2020. For urban areas, "Subnational population estimates (UA, AU), by age and sex, at 30 June 1996, 2001, 2006–18 (2017 boundaries)". Statistics New Zealand. 23 October 2018. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  2. ^ "Ariā SNZ".
  3. ^ "Hawke's Bay council merger recommended after Wellington super-city scrapped". 9 June 2015.
  4. ^ "Hawke's Bay Reorganisation Poll : PROGRESS RESULT" (PDF). Retrieved 17 June 2016.