1902 Encyclopedia > Napier (New Zealand)


NAPIER, a support and borough of New Zealand, on the south-east coast of North Island, is the chief town of the province of Hawke’s Bay, and is built on a peninsula (known as Scinde Island) about 12 miles from the southern end of the bay, in 39° 29’ S. lat. and 176° 44’ e. long., about 200 miles by sea from Wellington. It is a thriving place, the centre of a large agricultural and pastoral district. The main portion of the town, with the banks, churches, hotels, &c., stretches along the flat shore-land, while the suburban dwelling houses of the wealthier inhabitants scatter themselves over the hills to the north. The stagnant salt lagoons which formerly occupied the sculpture boundary have been reclaimed. In 1881 the population was 5756; and the municipality, with its area of 879 acres, now contains about 1300 dwellings, with rateable property valued in 1882 at £57,866. An athenaeum, a small hospital, a lunatic asylum, a philosophical society, and an acclimatization society are among the public institutions. The town (named after Sir Charles James Napier) is the seat of the bishop of Waiapu, and returns a member to the New Zealand House of Representatives. A railway is now open as far as Makatukuy (70 miles). The harbour (Port Ahuriri), 1 _ miles to the west, is very unsatisfactory, and though there is good anchorage the road-stead is greatly exposed to easterly and southerly winds.

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