Gisborne on the east coast of the North Island is the first city in the
world to see the sun each day.
The Maori name for the district is Tairawhiti which means "The coast
upon which the sun shines across the water".
Kaiti Beach, near the city,
was the landing place for the first waka carrying Maori immigrants and is
the first European landing place in New Zealand as Captain Cook first
landed there at Kaiti Beach in 1769.
European settlers arrived in 1831.
town was first known by its Maori name Turanga, but this led to confusion
with Tauranga so the town was renamed Gisborne in 1870 after the Colonial
Secretary, William Gisborne. Settlement was slow to develop until the 1870s
because Europeans did not feel that area was safe after the Hau Hau
rebellion and Te Kooti's uprising. The settlement developed rapidly and the
area became more prosperous after a good port was built in the 1920s.
Kaiti Hill is well worth a visit. At the beach there is an obelisk to mark
Captain Cook's arrival. (Note that this is not a swimming beach.) At the
foot of the hill is the Poho-o-rawiri Meeting House which is one of the
largest in the country and nearby is the Toko Toru Tapu Church.
Gisborne has been called the Chardonnay capital and the area is competing
with Hawkes Bay and Marlborough in exporting wine.
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