A sizeable region on the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island, Taranaki has a population of 110,500. Its main city is New Plymouth, named for Plymouth in Devon, England, the embarkation point of New Zealand’s first English settlers. Taranaki itself is named for its major geographical feature, Mount Taranaki. Standing an impressive 2,518 metres, Mount Taranaki is an active but quiescent volcano, experiencing minor eruptions every 90 years on average. The region’s rich volcanic soil combined with generous rainfall renders it exceptionally fertile, and agriculture is Taranaki’s major industry.
The Taranaki region is significant to New Zealand history as the site of major conflict between Maori and Europeans in the second half of the 19th century. Clashes resulted from Maori opposition to land sales, and alarm amongst settlers led to the installation of large numbers of British troops. Eventually war broke out and continued for more than 20 years, and the legacy of the Taranaki Wars has remained with the region into modern times. The small coastal settlement of Parihaka is an iconic and enduring symbol of the wars; in the 1860s Parihaka was the site of a peaceful resistance by Maori to European land confiscations. Land confiscations were later acknowledged to be unjust and unlawful by the New Zealand Government, and the eventual invasion of Parihaka by European militia and volunteers came to be regarded as one of the worst human and civil rights invasions in New Zealand history. Today the settlement is regarded as a spiritually important site and a symbol of nonviolent resistance action and peaceful coexistence between races and cultures.
Taranaki’s dairy industry is the basis of the region’s economy. The massive Whareroa dairy processing factory, at Hawera, is the southern hemisphere’s second largest. The site employs 1000 people and collects and processes up to 14 million litres of milk each day. In 2008, Taranaki had 2,360 people employed in dairy cattle farming, 1,810 in dairy product manufacture, and 2,120 in meat and meat product manufacturing.
A number of notable New Zealanders were born in Taranaki, including present and past All Blacks Beauden Barrett, Grant Fox, Conrad Smith, and Luke McAlister. Actress Melanie Lynskey, who has enjoyed extensive success in Hollywood, was born in New Plymouth. However, she’s not Taranaki’s only connection to Hollywood: due to its resemblance to Mt. Fuji, Mount Taranaki and the Taranaki region provided the backdrop to the 2003 Tom Cruise film The Last Samurai.
Visitors to Taranaki are drawn by its renowned surf, beautiful coastlines, the scenery and challenge of Mount Taranaki, and endless outdoor pursuits and sites of cultural importance. It’s a unique region, deserving of its marketing catchphrase ‘Like no other’.
Warren Bates’ Stage Centre is bringing this classic tale based on Little Orphan Annie to life with a new and exciting staging unlike any other and filled with 50+ talented young performers
October 8, 2015
A pothole in the Auckland suburb of Glen Eden has gotten so big that it has its own Facebook page.
October 7, 2015
A plea from a New Plymouth company's lawyer has paid off after a judge imposed a "modest" fine for a workplace accident which knocked a man unconscious.
October 5, 2015
The World Famous Taranaki Comedy Club in October features for the first time GISH. One of the busiest touring comics in New Zealand, Gish has played more towns and cities than anyone else as well as being a youtube sensation with his song parodies.
October 1, 2015
"I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life."
September 29, 2015
Four people, including two boys aged 9 and 10, have been rescued off the side of Mount Taranaki on Sunday evening returning home chilly, but safe.
September 27, 2015
A former Blenheim man says there are signs of divine intervention in a scan of his wife's brain after she had emergency surgery following a stroke.
September 25, 2015
Witness the foundations of New Plymouth's historical Mayfair shake as Shed - The Tool Tribute recreate a set-list of anthems from American prog-rock titans Tool. Also disturbing the bedrock, Stone Grilled Lizards will be showcasing local creative prowess with their innovative brand of punk infused alt-rock.
September 23, 2015
Cleanup costs from Taranaki's June floods have set the region's councils back more than $17 million.
September 21, 2015
"Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence."
September 17, 2015
A detainee at Guantanamo Bay has set up an online dating profile saying he is "detained but ready to mingle", according to his lawyer.
September 15, 2015
Taranaki's annual hospitality knees-up and industry awards night has been cancelled for 2015.
September 13, 2015
A self-confessed porn addict and voyeur who secretly filmed people in toilets using hidden cameras has been revealed after losing a bid for permanent name suppression.
September 10, 2015
"Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair."
September 9, 2015
A search and rescue exercise on Mt Taranaki has been judged a "worthwhile" success.
September 7, 2015
Taranaki Comedy Club in September welcomes Wilson Dixon as the headline act. This Country Singer-come-comedy performer is one of the stars of the international comedy scene. With his own BBC radio show, winner of the Fred Dagg award for comedy and own TVNZ special, an evening with Wilson Dixon is an unforgettable one.
September 3, 2015
Hastings has been declared the nation's most beautiful city. But only two other cities put themselves up for the title.
September 1, 2015
A small "campfire" under the old Mill nightclub in New Plymouth has smoked out the building and seen two fire trucks rush to the scene.
August 30, 2015
French-Irish chanteuse Camille O’Sullivan soars on stage with her theatrical storytelling, sorcery and seductive intensity. She turns every song into an epic performance of gutsy emotion, always adding her own twist to an eclectic mix of music.
August 27, 2015
"I love you the more in that I believe you had liked me for my own sake and for nothing else."
August 26, 2015
Another wet day is on the cards for Taranaki.
August 24, 2015
Live at the Bridge Cafe & Bar
August 20, 2015
Long feared and almost universally reviled, rats have been linked with a multitude of awe-inspiring feats, including wiping out millions of humans through three global pandemics. (Although a recent study exonerated rats for spreading the bubonic plague that devastated Europe in the 14th century. Gerbils are now taking the fall for that one.)
August 19, 2015
Two cars were set alight in a New Plymouth parking lot overnight, in what is believed to be a suspicious fire.
August 17, 2015
"Challenging the meaning of life is the truest expression of the state of being human."
August 13, 2015
Ridley, the critically injured tropical sea turtle, is about to leave Wellington Zoo and head to her new temporary home at Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium in Auckland.
August 11, 2015
A former Taranaki woman is breaking glass ceilings in the medical world.
August 9, 2015
Back to the usual first Friday of the month, the World Famous Taranaki Comedy Club boasts another great night of top Kiwi laughs with Co-Hosts Ben Hurley and Vaughan King
August 6, 2015
A large inflatable of a yellow movie character caused chaos on the roads of North Dublin on Monday, when it broke free from a nearby fairground.
August 5, 2015
Wild weather has seen power cuts at a number of properties in Central Taranaki, with one primary school even closing for the day.
August 3, 2015
Zirka Circus is proud to bring you its 4th tour of New Zealand, our new show "Cross the ocean" and it's more spectacular than ever!
July 30, 2015
If you are really thankful, what do you do? You share.
July 28, 2015
Welcoming more immigrants to Taranaki may help the region address its looming population changes, according to one academic.
July 26, 2015
Taranaki boasts one of the most breathtaking Winter landscapes in New Zealand.
Our Mountain, climate and venue opportunities scream Winter Wonderland.
Bringing Taranaki's finest wedding and event specialists together, to showcase their services and products in a unique 3 day event.
July 23, 2015
Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.
July 22, 2015
An offender got away with kilograms of gold coins after a New Plymouth laundromat was raided twice in four hours.
July 20, 2015
Don't you know that every perfect life would mean the end of art?
July 16, 2015
Two people have been cut from a car using the jaws of life after a crash on State Highway 3, near Waitara.
July 14, 2015
Some may see a giant deadly snake, but to two-year-old Alisha-Mae Cowan this yellow python is nothing but a family pet.
July 14, 2015
There are good people who are dealt a bad hand by fate, and bad people who live long, comfortable, privileged lives. A small twist of fate can save or end a life; random chance is a permanent, powerful player in each of our lives, and in human history as well.
July 14, 2015
Three Taranaki high schools rate among the country's best in NCEA results - but for the rest of them it's a matter of "can do better."
July 14, 2015
A huge vortex 'capable of sucking in a full-sized boat' has formed on Lake Texoma near Texas-Oklahoma border in the United States.
July 14, 2015
I actually think that the most efficacious way of making a difference is to lead by example, and doing random acts of kindness is setting a very good example of how to behave in the world.
July 14, 2015
The storm that battered Taranaki recently is continuing to have an impact on the region's exporters.
July 14, 2015