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Gisborne District

Te Tairāwhiti
District
Unitary region
Official logo of Gisborne District
Location of Gisborne District
Country New Zealand
Region Gisborne Region
Wards
  • Matakaoa-Waiapu
  • Waipaoa
  • Tawhiti-Uawa
  • Taruheru-Patutahi
  • Gisborne
Seat Gisborne
Area
 • Land 8,385.29 km2 (3,237.58 sq mi)
Population
 (June 2023)
 • Territorial 52,600
 • Urban
38,200
Area code(s) 06
HDI (2017) 0.872
very high · 16th
Website GDC.govt.nz

Gisborne District or the Gisborne Region (Māori: Te Tairāwhiti or Te Tai Rāwhiti) is a local government area of northeastern New Zealand. It is governed by Gisborne District Council, a unitary authority (with the combined powers of a district and regional council). It is named after its largest settlement, the city of Gisborne. The region is also commonly referred to as the East Coast.

The region is commonly divided into the East Cape and Poverty Bay. It is bounded by mountain ranges to the west, rugged country to the south, and faces east onto the Pacific Ocean.

Geography

The district is located in the northeastern corner of the North Island. It ranges from the Wharerata Hills in the south, which divide it from the Wairoa district in the Hawke's Bay region, to Lottin Point in the north. The western boundary runs along the Raukumara Range, which separates it from the Opotiki district. In the southwest, its boundary runs along the western edge of Te Urewera National Park.

It is sparsely inhabited and isolated, with small settlements mainly clinging to small bays along the eastern shore including Tokomaru Bay and Tolaga Bay. Its population is 48,900 (June 2018). Three-quarters of the population – 37,200 (June 2018) – lives in the city of Gisborne. No other settlement has a population of over 1000. The largest other settlements are the towns of Tolaga Bay and Ruatoria, each with populations of over 800 in 2001.

Inland, the land is rough, predominantly forested, hill country. A spine of rough ridges dominates the centre of the region, culminating in the impressive bulk of the 1752 metre Mount Hikurangi in Waiapu Valley in the region's northeast. This mountain is the fifth highest mountain in the North Island, and the highest that is not a volcano. Regarded as sacred by the Māori, there is some justification to the claims that this is the first mountain to see the sun in summer.

The region's population has higher than the national average proportion of Māori - over 50% in some areas - and still maintains strong ties to both Māori tradition and the iwi and marae structure. The predominant iwi are Ngāti Porou, Rongowhakaata, Ngai Tamanuhiri, Te Aitanga a Mahaki.

Climate

The region is sheltered by high country to the west and has a dry, sunny climate. It has a yearly average of 2,200 sunshine hours. The annual rainfall varies from about 1000mm near the coast to over 2500mm in higher inland country.

Climate data for Gisborne
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 24.9
(76.8)
24.2
(75.6)
22.6
(72.7)
19.9
(67.8)
17.1
(62.8)
14.7
(58.5)
14.1
(57.4)
14.9
(58.8)
16.8
(62.2)
19.0
(66.2)
21.3
(70.3)
23.3
(73.9)
19.5
(67.1)
Average low °C (°F) 13.6
(56.5)
13.6
(56.5)
12.2
(54.0)
9.6
(49.3)
6.9
(44.4)
5.3
(41.5)
4.6
(40.3)
5.4
(41.7)
6.8
(44.2)
8.6
(47.5)
10.5
(50.9)
12.3
(54.1)
9.1
(48.4)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 54
(2.1)
78
(3.1)
99
(3.9)
103
(4.1)
97
(3.8)
125
(4.9)
119
(4.7)
93
(3.7)
101
(4.0)
63
(2.5)
65
(2.6)
67
(2.6)
1,050
(41.3)
Source: NIWA Climate Data

Demographics

Gisborne Region covers 8,385.29 km2 (3,237.58 sq mi) and had an estimated population of 52,600 as of June 2023, with a population density of 6.3 people per km2.

Historical population
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1986 45,768 —    
1991 44,361 −0.62%
1996 45,962 +0.71%
2001 43,971 −0.88%
2006 44,499 +0.24%
2013 43,653 −0.27%
2018 47,517 +1.71%

Gisborne Region had a population of 47,517 at the 2018 New Zealand census, an increase of 3,864 people (8.9%) since the 2013 census, and an increase of 3,018 people (6.8%) since the 2006 census. There were 16,410 households. There were 23,394 males and 24,126 females, giving a sex ratio of 0.97 males per female. The median age was 37.0 years (compared with 37.4 years nationally), with 11,283 people (23.7%) aged under 15 years, 8,766 (18.4%) aged 15 to 29, 20,124 (42.4%) aged 30 to 64, and 7,344 (15.5%) aged 65 or older.

Ethnicities were 58.1% European/Pākehā, 52.9% Māori, 4.5% Pacific peoples, 2.8% Asian, and 1.4% other ethnicities (totals add to more than 100% since people could identify with multiple ethnicities).

The proportion of people born overseas was 9.7%, compared with 27.1% nationally.

Although some people objected to giving their religion, 48.2% had no religion, 36.4% were Christian, 0.4% were Hindu, 0.2% were Muslim, 0.3% were Buddhist and 6.2% had other religions.

Of those at least 15 years old, 5,382 (14.9%) people had a bachelor or higher degree, and 7,944 (21.9%) people had no formal qualifications. The median income was $25,900, compared with $31,800 nationally. 3,945 people (10.9%) earned over $70,000 compared to 17.2% nationally. The employment status of those at least 15 was that 17,064 (47.1%) people were employed full-time, 5,451 (15.0%) were part-time, and 1,872 (5.2%) were unemployed.

In the 2018 census, 77.6% of the population could speak in one language only, 18.9% in two languages and 1.1% in three or more languages.

Individual wards
Name Area (km2) Population Density (per km2) Households Median age Median income
Matakaoa-Waiapu Ward 1,684.54 2,622 1.56 864 36.5 years $18,900
Waipaoa Ward 4,147.44 3,492 0.84 1,209 37.1 years $30,600
Tawhiti-Uawa Ward 2,339.48 2,760 1.18 996 39.0 years $24,600
Taruheru-Patutahi Ward 166.01 3,816 22.99 1,332 43.7 years $35,600
Gisborne Ward 47.83 34,830 728.20 12,012 36.2 years $25,700
New Zealand 37.4 years $31,800

Urban areas

Gisborne, with a population of 38,200, is the only urban area in the district with a population over 1,000. It is home to 72.6% of the district's population.

Other towns and settlements in the Gisborne district include:

2007 earthquake

GisborneRegionPopulationDensity
A map of population density in the Gisborne Region at the 2006 census

At 8.55pm (NZDT) on 20 December 2007, the Gisborne region was hit by an earthquake of Richter magnitude 6.8, centred in the Hikurangi Trench, 50 km southeast of Gisborne at a depth of 40 km. Mercalli intensities of 7-8 were experienced, with three buildings substantially collapsed in the CBD and others experiencing some structural damage. One death was reported (a heart attack of an elderly woman, sustained during the quake) plus minor injuries.

Economy

The subnational gross domestic product (GDP) of the Gisborne region was estimated at NZ$2.16 billion in the year to March 2019, 0.7% of New Zealand's national GDP. The regional GDP per capita was estimated at $44,004 in the same period.

Sport

The region is represented in rugby union by the East Coast Rugby Football Union and the Poverty Bay Rugby Football Union.

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Región de Gisborne para niños

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