Discover Napier's Unique History

Napier has a unique story to be told, spend a few days here to discover the real Napier

Discover Napier's Unique History

Napier has a unique story to be told, spend a few days here to discover the real Napier

Take a Napier Tour with Hawkes Bay Scenic Tours to discover the uniue History of Napier and why Art Deco ??

Take a Napier Tour with Hawkes Bay Scenic Tours to discover the uniue History of Napier and why Art Deco ??

A snapshot of Napier's History and Napier's Art Deco

Napier, today the capital of the Hawke's Bay province, was first sighted by Europeans (Captain Cook) in October 1769, when he sailed down the east coast of the North Island while mapping the coastline of New Zealand. He referred to the current site of Napier and its inner harbour as follows: "On each side of this bluff head is a low, narrow sand or stone beach, between these beaches and the mainland is a pretty large lake of salt water I suppose."

Traders, whalers and missionaries were the forerunners of permanent residency here. In the 1850's farmers and hotel keepers arrived. The Crown purchased the Ahuriri block (including the site of Napier) in 1851.

In 1854 Mr Alfred Domett was appointed Commissioner of Crown Lands and Resident Magistrate at Ahuriri. A plan was prepared and the town named Napier, after Sir Charles Napier, the hero of the Battle of Meeanee in the Indian province of Scinde. Domett named many of the streets in this settlement to commemorate the great colonial era of the British Indian Empire. He also displayed his own literary preferences by naming streets after famous artists and literary figures.

The town was constituted a borough in 1874 and development of the surrounding marsh lands and reclamation was slow. Between 1852 and 1876 Napier was the administrative centre for the Hawke's Bay Provincial Government but in 1876 the Abolition of Provinces Act dissolved Provincial Government, replacing it with one central assembly in Wellington.

 

The huge 7.8 magnitude earthquake in 1931 changed Napier forever

 

On Tuesday 3 February 1931 Napier, in common with most of the Hawke's Bay district, suffered a disastrous earthquake 2.5 minutes in length. The earthquake rocked the town almost totally levelling all buildings in the inner city, killing 162 people (a total of 258 in the Hawke's Bay area), and raising some areas of land by as much as 8 feet. Some 4,000 hectares of sea-bed became dry land and today this sites not only the airport, but also residential and industrial property developments. The extensive rebuilding that took place in the 1930's is the reason for the Art Deco flavour in the City. Book your Art Deco tour now

The 1991 census results show Napier has a population of 51,177, with an age structure that is characterised by a high proportion in the retirement age group (18% against the national average of 15%). This could be related to the city's attractive climate with high sunshine hours and relatively low rainfall. Book a Napier overview tour now

A snapshot of Napier's History and Napier's Art Deco

Napier, today the capital of the Hawke's Bay province, was first sighted by Europeans (Captain Cook) in October 1769, when he sailed down the east coast of the North Island while mapping the coastline of New Zealand. He referred to the current site of Napier and its inner harbour as follows: "On each side of this bluff head is a low, narrow sand or stone beach, between these beaches and the mainland is a pretty large lake of salt water I suppose."

Traders, whalers and missionaries were the forerunners of permanent residency here. In the 1850's farmers and hotel keepers arrived. The Crown purchased the Ahuriri block (including the site of Napier) in 1851.

In 1854 Mr Alfred Domett was appointed Commissioner of Crown Lands and Resident Magistrate at Ahuriri. A plan was prepared and the town named Napier, after Sir Charles Napier, the hero of the Battle of Meeanee in the Indian province of Scinde. Domett named many of the streets in this settlement to commemorate the great colonial era of the British Indian Empire. He also displayed his own literary preferences by naming streets after famous artists and literary figures.

The town was constituted a borough in 1874 and development of the surrounding marsh lands and reclamation was slow. Between 1852 and 1876 Napier was the administrative centre for the Hawke's Bay Provincial Government but in 1876 the Abolition of Provinces Act dissolved Provincial Government, replacing it with one central assembly in Wellington.

 

The huge 7.8 magnitude earthquake in 1931 changed Napier forever

 

On Tuesday 3 February 1931 Napier, in common with most of the Hawke's Bay district, suffered a disastrous earthquake 2.5 minutes in length. The earthquake rocked the town almost totally levelling all buildings in the inner city, killing 162 people (a total of 258 in the Hawke's Bay area), and raising some areas of land by as much as 8 feet. Some 4,000 hectares of sea-bed became dry land and today this sites not only the airport, but also residential and industrial property developments. The extensive rebuilding that took place in the 1930's is the reason for the Art Deco flavour in the City. Book your Art Deco tour now

The 1991 census results show Napier has a population of 51,177, with an age structure that is characterised by a high proportion in the retirement age group (18% against the national average of 15%). This could be related to the city's attractive climate with high sunshine hours and relatively low rainfall. Book a Napier overview tour now