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New Plymouth


War in Taranaki 1860-63

In March 1860 war broke out between Europeans and Māori in Taranaki following a dispute over the sale of land at Waitara. It was the beginning of a series of conflicts that would dog Taranaki for 21 years, claiming the lives of hundreds of people and leaving deep scars that persist to the present day. Read the full article

Page 6 - A change in tactics

The arrival in August 1860 of Major-General Thomas Pratt heralded the development of a new strategy to break the cordon that encircled New

Regional rugby

The passion and parochialism of provincial rugby helped give the game a special place in New Zealand’s social and sporting history. Read brief histories, highlights and quirky facts about each of New Zealand's 26 regional rugby teams. Read the full article

Page 12 - Taranaki rugby

History and highlights of rugby in the Taranaki

New Plymouth, Taranaki's only city, was the region’s first Pākehā settlement and has always been the largest. Originally called Ngāmotu (the islands), the site of New Plymouth was occupied for hundreds of years by Māori. Pākehā traders set up a trading station at Ngāmotu in 1828, but it was not until 1841–42 that planned settlement by the Plymouth Company brought 868 immigrants from Devon and Cornwall in England to the ‘New‘ Plymouth. In 1860 war broke out between Pākehā and Māori over a proposed land sale at nearby Waitara. A decade of conflict followed, severely curtailing the development of the town and the surrounding area. By 1885 it had a port, and rail links to the province and Wellington. Dairy farming remained the mainstay of the economy. After offshore gas fields were discovered in the 1950s and 1960s, the petroleum industry contributed to the local economy.
Meaning of place name
The name comes from the port of Plymouth, in Devon, England, as many of the first European settlers came from Devon and Cornwall. It was settled by the Plymouth Company, a subsidiary of the New Zealand Company.