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150 Years

Historical lightshow

Hastings’ history came to life with this special historical image projection show, brought to you by the team from Walk of Wonders.

Throughout the 150th Commemoration weekend of 7-9 July this special historical image show was projected on the exterior of the Opera House at Toitoi - Hawke's Bay Arts and Event Centre.  An immersive creative, visual and audio experience for all ages, this exciting display showed a wide range of historical images that reflect Hastings’ history from the 1870s through to the 1980s.  

Below is the video that displayed as well as some of the significant photos.

Thomas Tanner – known as the ‘Father’ of Hastings.

According to Maori history, in 1870, Tanner and five other men purchased the entire block from 10 Māori owners, who had been appointed the Crown Grantees of the block on behalf of their hapū. They became known as “The Apostles” – named after the 12 blocks of land they occupied.

Henare Tōmoana and Kariatiana Takamoana

The area of land now known as Hastings City Centre, was once referred to as Karamu Junction. In 1864, Henare Tōmoana and Kariatiana Takamoana leased part of the Heretaunga Block to settler Thomas Tanner. 

Francis Hicks and Family.

Thomas Tanner leased and then sold land to Mr Francis Hicks of Karamū. In July 1873, Hicks put up for sale 100 acres of his land, divided into town and suburban sections. On July 8, 144 sections were auctioned, signifying the start of Hastings township.

Hastings railway

The railway was a significant factor in influencing the growth of Hastings.  Francis Hicks gave land to the government for a railway station and further development.

Farmers and graziers

Surrounded by the fertile Heretaunga Plains, Hastings became a commercial centre for farmers and graziers in the late 1800’s. 

The Beginnings of FL Bone, Hector Jones and Tong & Peryer.

Some city businesses have been around for nearly 150 years, including Tong & Peryer Funeral Directors, F L Bone, Hector Jones, Hastings Building Society (SBS Bank) and Holly Bacon.

Lyndon Road

View of Lyndon Road and Railway Road, looking south.  1907.

Marama Performance, 1920.

Arts and culture had been firmly established in our community since 1915, with the official opening of Hastings’ own Opera House, next to the Municipal Building

Hastings Women’s Rest

The Hastings Women’s Rest was built on Russell Street in 1921. In a first for New Zealand, a dedicated space was provided for mothers and, as advertised, a “safe place for girls working in Hastings”. This building still stands as the Heretaunga Women’s Centre. 

Methodist Church after the earthquake

The face of the town changed in 1931 following the devastating Hawke’s Bay earthquake, which killed 93 people in Hastings. 

Leopard Beers advertising and Westerman’s.

Following the earthquake, the central business district was rebuilt in the fashion of the time – Art Deco – and today has the most buildings of its kind anywhere in New Zealand, including Napier. 

The Jubilee Arches on Heretaunga Street

Hastings turned 50 in July 1923. To celebrate a colourful and popular Jubilee Carnival was held in October of that year.

Sir James Wattie with HRH Queen Elizabeth II

In 1934, James Wattie walked the streets of the newly reconstructed city to raise money from local businessmen for a canning business.    

“Wattie’s” became a much-loved Kiwi brand, helping our district gain the title of “The Fruit Bowl of New Zealand”.

Rush Munro’s

Rush Munro’s is New Zealand’s oldest ice creamery at nearly 100 years old!

The duck pond at Cornwall Park.

Many of the beautiful parks our families enjoy today were established by the city fathers, including Cornwall, Frimley and Windsor parks.

Blossom Parade

The Blossom Parade became a popular annual event in the 1950s, with float entries from across the North Island. Today, it’s the highlight of the Hastings Blossom Festival, attended by over 20,000 people every year.

Hastings Town Centre

In 1956 Hastings was proclaimed a city. The City Council’s coat of arms captured the district's spirit with the Latin phrase: Urbis et Ruris Concordia – town and country in harmony.  

Hastings City Council became Hastings District Council in 1989, incorporating the Havelock North Borough Council and Hawke’s Bay County Council areas, a total of just over five thousand square kilometres.

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