Events In History

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Motueka lies on the small Motueka Plain near the Motueka River mouth on the western shore of Tasman Bay. The exceptional soil fertility and the suitability of the surrounding land for small-farm settlement were the main reasons that the second town of the Nelson settlement was established at Motueka in 1842. Motueka used to be New Zealand’s tobacco-growing centre. However, the crop was no longer profitable after the government removed the requirement for some New Zealand-grown tobacco in locally produced cigarettes in the early 1980s.

Meaning of place name
Contraction of Motuweka: motu: clump of trees; weka: wood-hen. The name came from the Pikopiko-i-whiti lagoon in Hawaiki, where it may have had a different connotation.

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