Events In History


Regional rugby

  • 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.

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  • Page 13 - East Coast rugbyHistory and highlights of rugby in the East Coast

Principal centre and largest town of the eastern Bay of Plenty. The town developed gradually, and its major expansion dates back to the draining of the neighbouring Rangitāiki Plains in the early 20th century, which brought surrounding farmland into production. A paper mill was established in 1939. This was the major employer until the 1980s. In 2004 Whakatāne and surrounding areas were extensively flooded after prolonged and intense rain.

Meaning of place name
Lit: To play the man. When the Mataatua canoe arrived at the mouth of the Whakatane River, the commander, Toroa, took his men ashore to inspect a cave they had seen. Presently the canoe began to drift away on the outgoing tide. Toroa's daughter, Wairaka, saw the danger. She cried 'Me whakatane au i au' (I shall act like a man), and the women managed to save the canoe.