Gisborne (Māori: Tūranga-nui-a-Kiwa "Great standing place of Kiwa") is a city in northeastern New Zealand and the largest settlement in the Gisborne District (or Gisborne Region). It has a population of 35,400 (June 2014 estimate). The district council has its headquarters in Whataupoko, in the central city.
Central and northeastern Gisborne viewed from Kaiti Hill
The harbour was host to many ships in the past and had developed as a river port to provide a more secure location for shipping compared with the open roadstead of Poverty Bay which can be exposed to southerly swells. A meat works was sited beside the harbour and meat and wool were shipped from here. Now the harbour is the home of many smaller fishing boats as well as ships loading logs for export.
The city maintains a rural charm and is a popular holiday spot. Local industries include agriculture, horticulture, farming and forestry. Wine production is also valuable to the local economy.
The city of Gisborne is located at the north end of Poverty Bay. The white cliff headland of Young Nick's Head at the other end of the bay is visible from the city. The cliffs can be seen in the left hand side of the sat photo. The Māori name for the cliffs is Te Kurī-a-Pāoa, meaning The Dog of Pāoa, as this was what it was originally said to look like.
This prominence was the first part of New Zealand sighted by the crew of Captain James Cook's ship Endeavour, and was named for the crew member who first saw it. A memorial to Cook stands on the foreshore, marking the point where he first stepped ashore in New Zealand on 8 October 1769.
On the right hand side of the sat photo at the other end of the bay, known as Poverty Bay, is Kaiti Hill. This hill overlooks the city and magnificent views can be obtained by driving or walking to the summit.
It is sometimes known as the City of Rivers as the centre of the city is the convergence of three different rivers, one of which is the shortest river in the country at 1200 m long.
Gisborne boasts being the first city in the world to greet the sun each day. However, in 2011, Samoa decided to skip a day to be moved westward across the international dateline, to align with trade partners, and its capital Apia thus can now claim that title. Before that move, however, Gisborne's claim was technically only true for part of the year. Both Suva, Fiji, and Nukuʻalofa, Tonga, are closer to the International Date Line and therefore would seem more likely candidates for this title. Due to the Earth's tilt on its axis, however, Gisborne does overtake their claim as New Zealand summer days grow longer. In the longest days of summer, though, it again loses the title to the hillier suburbs of Dunedin in the South Island.
The city has the benefit of being very close to Waikanae and Midway beaches, both within easy walking distance of the city centre. Wainui Beach is 8 km from the city. It has consistent surf, and the local surf club has produced several world champions.