Principal town of the Rangitāiki Plains, 19 km west of Whakatāne. First known as Rangitāiki or Riverslea, it developed near the site of a rail bridge – later a combined rail and road bridge, completed in 1920. Its position at an important transport hub was enhanced when the Rangitāiki Plains Dairy Company opened a factory there in 1923. In 1924 the town was named Edgecumbe after the nearby mountain (originally known as Pūtauaki). Edgecumbe was the nearest centre to the magnitude 6.3 earthquake of 1987.

Meaning of place name
Probably named after John Edgecumbe, sergeant of the marines on James Cook's Endeavour expedition

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