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Historical Timeline


History of Tauranga and Western Bay of Plenty

Maori Timeline

Maori Carving
1200 1700 1820 1840 1860 1880 1900 1920 1940 1960 1980 1998



Takitimu arrives at Te Awanui (original name for Tauranga Harbour) Built a pa at Maungatawa - became known as Ngati Ranginui


Ngaiterangi conquest of Tauranga


Ngapuhi chief, Te Morenga destroys Matarehu Pa - on Motiti Island


Te Morenga destroys Pa on Mauao. Te Wani, chief of Ngaiterangi saves Otumoetai Pa - makes peace with Te Morenga at Matuaiwi Pa


Samuel Marsden sees Tauranga from Mt Hikurangi (first European sighting)


Hongi Hika (Ngapuhi chief) attacks Rotorua and takes Mokoia Island


Population at Otumoetai - 2,500. Ngaiterangi Pa: Otmuoetai, Te Papa, Maungatapu


Destruction of Te Papa - Otamataha Pa - 500 killed


Ngapuhi attack on Otumoetai Pa


Fighting between Arawa and Ngaiterangi and Waikato tribes begins

1836 Mar

Arawa Pa at Maketu destroyed by Ngaiterangi and Waikato May Ngaiterangi Pa at Te Tumu destroyed by Arawa

1840 Feb

Arawa war party on Tauranga (600 warriors) Ngaiterangi Chief Tupaea refuses to make peace


Taraia, Ngati Maru chief destroys Whanake's Pa at Ongare near Katikati


Peace treaty between Ngaiterangi and Arawa.


Bishop Selwyn confirms 80 Maori


Tupaea baptised by Archdeacon Brown - Otumoetai


Brown travels to Thames with Ngaiterangi to make peace with Taraia (Ngati Maru)


Dispute on Motiti between Ngaiterangi and Arawa


Arawa Chief Tohi Te Ururangi and Tupaea make peace in Motiti dispute


Ohuki Land Despute Matapihi between Ngaitukairangi and Ngati He - lasted 3 years

1864 Jan

Military occupation of Tauranga

1864 April

Battle of Gate Pa - Maori victory

1864 June

Battle of Te Ranga - Imperial Troops victory

1864 Aug

Formal peacemaking with Maori. Confiscation of land following surrender

1864 Aug

Thousand pounds deposit to Ngaiterangi chiefs for Te Puna Block purchase


Most Maori, followers of Pai Marie


Maungatapu Maori School opens up - Principal Mr Duffus


House at Karikari, Maungatawa 'Tamapahore' - opened by Te Kooti

1886 June

Tarawera eruption

1886 July

New native church opened at Maungatapu


Land returned to Ngaiterangi under Tauranga District Land Act


Maungatapu school closed


Maori attend opening of new meeting house - Mataatua (Whareroa)


Judea Maori to form Drum and Fife band


Maungatapu Maori Brass Band-under Mr Lever


Native school at Karikari run by Miss Brown


Re-opening of wharepuni Rauri at Whareroa. Opening of Meeting House at Matapihi


Old native Hostelry on Strand pulled down, tenders called for erection of new native hostelry


Salvation Army build fish curing factory at Rangiwaea Island


Salvation Army moves fish factory from Rangiwaea to Sulphur Point


Opening of new Meeting house at Ngapeke - Ngati Pukenga


New Catholic Church on Matakana Island


Meeting house competed at Tutereinga - Te Puna


New church at Matapihi opened Catholic church built - Matakana Island


Visit by Ratana


Maori Catholic Mission - Te Puna becomes separate parish


Visit of Ratana to Maungatapu


Unveiling of memorial to Pahuunui, Ngahau - Motiti


Prohibition of alienation of Maori land on the Matapihi Peninsula


Bunn Brothers Ltd arrived on Matakana Island - New mill owners


Maori Women's Welfare League formed - founding member Manu Bidios


Opening of Tamatea Pokaiwhenua Meeting house at Judea by Dr Maharaia Winiata


Decision to amalgamate tribal executives at Katikati, Ngati Ranginui and Ngaiterangi.


First official meeting of Tauranga Moana Service Club for Maori youth

1973 Feb

Maori canoe launched

1973 April

Whareroa Marae burns down

1973 Oct

Opening of Dining hall at Tutereinga Marae, Te Puna - by Dame Te Atairangi Kahu

1975 May

Official opening of Whareroa Marae - by Prime Minister Bill Rowling

1976 Feb

Dining Hall opened at Matapihi

1979 May

Matakana Island -Opureora Marae- New wharekai opened -by Ben Couch


Establishment of the Tauranga Moana Maori Trust Board

1981 April

District Maori Council established

1981 Oct

Compensation for confiscated land accepted by Tauranga Moana Trust Board.


Fire - Matakana Island Mill - estimated damage $2 million


The first Kohanga Reo was officially opened on the Hairini Marae

1985 April

Te Awanui Huka Pak - Maori initiated commercial enterprise commenced operations


Matapihi - Craft centre developed on Hungahungatoroa Marae

1988 Oct

Whaioranga Trust (Health and Whanau Centre) was opened on Whetu Marae, Welcome Bay

1993 April

Matakana Islanders stage protest against Asian forestry sale- Blockade set up


Fiscal Envelop Hui held at Huria Marae

1998 Feb

Waitangi Tribunal Hearings - Huria Marae

Further Reading


Tauranga City Council. Tauranga 1882 - 1982 ed. by A.C. Bellamy. Tauranga City Council, 1982.

Tauranga Moana District Maori Council. Aku Taumata Korer Nga Marae me nga iwi o te Moana o

Tauranga . Tauranga: Moana Press.1989.

Historical Picture of The Strand.

European Timeline


1750 1820 1840 1860 1880 1900 1920 1940 1960 1980 2000 2004


1769 Captain James Cook sails across the Bay of Plenty in the Endeavour
1820 Rev. Samuel Marsden sees the Tauranga Harbour from the top of Mount Hikurangi near Waihi between the warring tribes
1834 Site for Mission Station at Te Papa (Tauranga) chosen by A.N.Brown and William Williams

Mission Station at Te Papa opened by William Wade
Several flax traders operating in the area: Tapsell, Dillon, Farrow

1836 Continued fighting amongst Maori tribes. Mission Station evacuated.
1837 Rev J.A.Wilson to Mission Station

Rev A.N.Brown and family arrive at Te Papa
Purchase of first block of land by Brown for CMS

1839 Second land purchase (3000 acres)
1840 John Lees Faulkner, trader, settled at Otumoetai
Treaty signed at Maungatapu Pa by Nuka, but Tupaea (Otumoetai) refuses to sign
Roman Catholic Mission established at Otumoetai
1841 Ernst Dieffenbach visits Te Papa
1842 Trouble over a stolen boat. Troops on Mount Drury (Hopukiore) for 4 months
1845 Death of Marsh Brown, son of the Archdeacon
Peace treaty between Arawa and Ngaiterangi.
Peace stones set up at Maketu and Otumoetai
1852 HMS Pandora's survey of Tauranga Harbour
1855 Death of Charlotte Brown, wife of A.N.Brown, in Auckland.
1857 First steamship enters Tauranga harbour. Name unknown.
1859 Visit of Dr Hochstetter, geologist
Celia Brown marries Rev John Kinder
1860 Henry Tacy Clarke appointed Resident Magistrate at Tauranga
Archdeacon Brown marries Christina Johnston
1864 Military occupation of Tauranga
Battle of Gate Pa
Battle of Te Ranga
Gov. George Grey takes part in formal peacemaking with Maori
Land west of Waimapu confiscated
1865 Rev C. Volkner murdered at Opotiki
1866 Military settlers taking up farm and town lots
1868 School opened in Durham Redoubt
1869 Fear of attack by Te Kooti's followers
Opepe massacre - 9 Tauranga men killed
1870 Tauranga Highways District and Tauranga North Highways District Boards established
Telegraphic communication with Wellington established
1871 Town Wharf built
Mechanics Institute (library, reading room and museum) set up
1872 Bay of Plenty Times established
Anthony Trollope passes through Tauranga en route to the Hot Lakes
Public School opened
1873 Rev A.N.Brown buys 17 acres from CMS, which he names The Elms
Springwell Brewery opened
Branch of Bank of New Zealand opened
Canon Charles Jordan (Holy Trinity) arrives in Tauranga
1874 Foundation stone of wooden government building laid
First Wairoa Bridge opens
1875 George Vesey Stewart's Special Settlers arrive on the Carisbrooke Castle for Katikati
1876 Greerton School opens
1878 Victoria Wharf at foot of Harington Street completed
Work on Sulphur Works begins
Lady Jocelyn arrives with second party of Special Settlers
Population 793
1880 Fire Brigade established under Asher Asher
1881 Lady Jocelyn arrives with Te Puke settlers
1882 Tauranga gazetted a Borough
George Vesey Stewart elected first Mayor
Population 1258
Hairini Bridge completed
1884 Tauranga cheese and bacon factory opened
Death of Archdeacon Brown
1885 Deer released by Acclimatisation Society
1886 Tarawera eruption
Second primary school opened
1888 First land sale at Mount Maunganui
1889 Land sale at Te Puna
1891 Population 1055
1892 Phonograph heard for the first time in Tauranga
1895 Otumoetai school opens
1896 Te Puna school opened
1897 A.H.Whitehouse, first person to make moving pictures in New Zealand, gives Kinematograph show in Tauranga
1900 First municipal lamppost erected
1901 Population 945
1902 Government Buildings destroyed by fire
Foundation stone for Edward VII Esplanade laid
New concrete retaining wall built along Strand
1903 First motor car seen in Tauranga
1905 Opening of school at Oropi
1907 Tauranga District High School formed
1908 Telephone system installed with 21 subscribers
Survey of Tauranga-Waihi-Te Puke railway reaches Tauranga
1909 Gasworks built
Faulkner's regular ferry service to Mount begins
1910 First sod of railway line between Mount Maunganui and Te Puke turned
1911 First vehicles licensed
First septic tank completed
Population 1346
  Tauranga Harbour Board formed
Train service Mount Maunganui to Te Puke
1914 First Tauranga Hospital opened
First recorded motor car accident in Tauranga
Foundation Stone of Town Hall laid
1915 Omanawa Falls Power Station completed, and lights turned on in borough
Public sewer installed
1917 School at Ohauiti
1918 School at Tauriko
Electric light turned on in Otumoetai
1919 First bus service
1920 First swordfish caught in Mayor Island waters
First plane to visit Tauranga - seaplane carrying Bishop Cleary
X-ray outfit for hospital
1921 Population 2,241
1922 Filming of My Lady of the Cave on Mayor Island
Avro bi-plane landed on Waikareao estuary
1923 First planting of trees on Matakana Island
1924 Foundation stone of new hospital laid
Driving of the last rivet on the Matapihi railway bridge
First train over the bridge
Opening of Strand station
1925 McLarens Falls Power station commissioned
Further plantings of pinus radiata on Matakana Island
1928 Railway connection to Auckland completed
1931 School at Pahoia
1932 Aero and Gliding Club formed
Licensed grazing of cows on borough streets ends
1933 Visit by aviator Kingsford-Smith
1935 Site for airport negotiated at Whareroa
1936 Cobalt applied as top-dressing cures bush sickness
1937 Ladies Rest Room constructed on Spring Street
1938 Post Office opened on the corner of Grey and Spring Streets
1939 Airport officially opened
Airport taken over by the airforce
1939-40 Kaimai road widened
1941 Population of Tauranga 3910
1942 Gas company goes into liquidation
1945 School at Pyes Pa
Co-educational college opened at Hillsdene
1946 Gate Pa added to the borough
1947 Commercial air services re-started
Polio epidemic
1949 Chlorination plant completed
Otumoetai East and Judea added to the borough
1950 Committee of enquiry decides to build deep water port at Mount Maunganui
Wreck of Ranui. 22 people drown. 1 survivor
1951 School at Tauranga South
Population 7823
1953 Construction of Mount Wharf begins
1955 Transfer of Yatton Park to Tauranga County Council
1957 Merivale school opened
Pillans Point school opened
First shipment of logs to Japan
1958 Hillsdene becomes Tauranga Boys' College
Tauranga Girls' College established on separate site
1959 Maungatapu and part of Hairini added to the borough
Opening of Maungatapu bridge
Opening of road bridge over Waikareao to Otumoetai
1961 First large scale street numbering undertaken
Otumoetai West added to borough
Population 14,150
1962 Inaugural meeting of The Elms Trust to help preserve Mission House
1963 Fluoride added to water supply
Greerton added to the borough.
Tauranga becomes a city
First parking meters
1964 New hospital block opens
1965 Otumoetai College opens
Matua school opened
Work begins on Kaimai tunnel
1966 Marineland opens at Mount Maunganui
1967 First Friendship plane lands on newly sealed runway at airport
1970 Sulphur Point reclamation begins
Cave-in in Kaimai Tunnel. 7 men killed
Tauranga Harbour Board becomes Bay of Plenty Harbour Board
Development of Judea industrial area begins
1971 Bellevue school opens
R.A.Owens elected mayor of both Tauranga City and Mount Maunganui Borough
Willow Park opens (later Quality Hotel, then Hotel Armitage)
Population 26,800
1972 Vehicle testing station opens
1973 Te Awanui waka launched
Spring Street Mall created
1974 First escalator in the Bay of Plenty installed in Trust bank building
Transmission of colour television from Mount Te Aroha
Traffic lights erected at Elizabeth Street - Cameron Road crossing
1976 Unveiling of statue on Stoney Point
1978 First train through Kaimai Tunnel
1981 Work on marina at Sulphur Point begins
Collapse of Ruahihi canal
Population 36,951
1983 Opening of Baycourt
1985 Opening of Bayfair shopping centre
1986 Fluoride removed from water supply
1987 Tauranga Town Hall demolished
1988 Tauranga Harbour Bridge completed
Bethlehem College opens
1989 Tauranga and Mount Maunganui Councils amalgamate.
Name of Tauranga City changed to Tauranga District Council.
Tauranga County Council becomes the Western Bay of Plenty District Council Bay of Plenty Harbour Board becomes Port of Tauranga Ltd
New Tauranga central library opens
1990 Keith Clarke elected mayor of Tauranga District Council
1991 Population 67,333
1992 New wharves opened at Sulphur Point
Opening of Waikareao Expressway
1993 Masonic Hotel (built 1865) demolished
1995 Mainstreet programmes cause major redevelopment of downtown areas at Tauranga and Mount Maunganui
Tauranga parking building opens on Durham Street
Oceanside Hotel at Mount Maunganui demolished for high-rise apartments
Baypark Speedway closes
1996 Up to 30 new housing subdivisions underway
Planning to upgrade the airport to cater for international flights
Population 77,775
Cinema 6 opens
Bridge Marina opens
Tahatai school opens
"Project Phoenix" rejuvenates Mount Maunganui main streets
1997 1997 Edgewater Fan development completed in Tauranga
Papamoa shopping centre opens
Selwyn Ridge School opens
Opening of upgraded water treatment plant in Joyce Road

1997 The Elms Mission property sold to The Elms Foundation
Cambridge Road tip closes
Maleme Street re-cycling station opens
Waikareao expressway changed to Takitimu Drive
High rise residential towers open at Mount Maunganui
Waitangi Tribunal hearings begin for Tauranga Moana
Bayfair upgrade
Airport upgrade

1999 Holy Trinity Church burns down
Old Post Office building, Willow Street, refurbished
2000 Tug Taioma moved from 17th Avenue and sunk near Motiti as dive reef
Te Akau ki Papamoa school opens
2001 First Woman Mayor elected - Jan Beange
Tolls come off harbour bridge
2002 Fraser Cove shopping centre opens
Opening of new Baypark Speedway
2003 Aquinas College opens
2004 Population reaches 100,000
Tauranga District renamed Tauranga City
Artificial surf reef approved
The Strand waterfront redevelopment wins Creative NZ Award
Papamoa Hills Regional Park opens
Devonport Towers high rise building opens

Last Reviewed: 10/09/2012