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Taradale is a town in the Hawke's Baymarker region of the North Islandmarker of New Zealandmarker. It is located 10 kilometres southwest of the city of Napiermarker, and is also known as the Taradale/Greenmeadows (Greendale) area. Taradale is also one of four elective wards that divides Napier City; the ward comprises Taradale, Greenmeadows, Poraiti and Meeanee, it is a distinctive community and an integral part of Napier City.

The population was 16,599 in the 2006 Census, an increase of 972 from 2001.

About Taradale

Taradale is a 10 minute drive from the tourist destination of Napier City and with over a third of Napier district’s population, is one of the most important areas in the region, with one of the highest socio-economic demographic profiles in the Hawke's Bay. Many of Taradale's residents commute to Napier or Hastings CBD and prefer rural or suburban life as opposed to the city life of Napier.

Taradale itself is a prosperous, established community nestled against the Taradale hills in an area rich in wine heritage dating back as far as the 1850s. Two of the most famous vineyards in Hawkes Bay, Mission Estate and Church Rd, are located in the area and together attract over 300,000 tourists annually.

History

Taradale has a rich heritage stemming from its key role as the original gateway to the inland routes (including Taupo, Aucklandmarker and Taihape) and to the farms and settlements of its hinterland.

The area was named by Henry Alley who built what was reputed to be the first house, somewhere in vicinity of Alley Place and Lowther Place on land leased from William Colenso. He called the area Taradale after the hill of Taramarker, County Meath, Irelandmarker, where he was born. Taradale High Schoolmarker retains a link with the early days of Taradale, its emblem incorporating the Tara Brooch. A couple of kilometres to the north-east of Taradale is Green­meadows, established in the late 1850s by Henry Tiffen who named it after the native grass that grew in the area. Greenmeadows from the beginning has been seen as an extension of Taradale rather than a separate community. This gives the Taradale and Greenmeadows area which is also known merely as Taradale, or Greendale for local facilities; a population of roughly 17,000.

Before the 1931 Hawke's Bay earthquakemarker, Taradale and Greenmeadows were separated from distant Napiermarker by a harbour lagoon and tidal mudflats, bridged from 1874 by the corduroy Taradale Road. Other access was by the coastal sandpits road to Awatoto, then to Meeanee village and the Great North Road (Meeanee Road). These barriers forced Taradale's township and pioneer farming settlers to develop staunch independence, setting up their own facilities, businesses and recreational resources. Many of the elements of this historic heritage remain today; as well as the geographical boundaries, Anderson Park and green patches on the edge of Greenmeadows are visual boundaries that separates Taradale and Greenmeadows from the rest of Napier City.

Taradale's military history is typical of an early New Zealand town. The nearby Battle of Omarunui on 12 October 1866 saw the settlers and local Maori join to defend an attack from the Hauhau faction during the N.Z. Land Wars. The district volunteered its sons and daughters to fight in South Africa against the Boers, and again in World War 1, World War 2 and the subsequent engagements that New Zealand has committed to.

Taradale was administered by a Town Board from 1886-1963, and by Borough Council from 1963-1968. Amalgamation with Napier had been proposed and disputed for many years, and the merger was passed by referendum in 1968. The final meeting of the Borough Council was held on 26 March 1968 and Taradale became a part of Napier, even though it still retains its strong community spirit. The last Mayor of Taradale was Arthur Miller, a popular and respected member of the community. He is remembered for his public service, especially in his push to establish intermediate and Taradale High Schoolmarker. His support for education was recognized in 1971 when a new school in Guppy road was named Arthur Miller School.

In the present Taradale has continued to expand and develop, with a current growth rate of 6.7%, well above the Hawkes Bay regional growth rate of 3.9% and Napier of 3.2%. As new subdivisions meet the increased demand for middle to high-end residential property, there are several new subdivision developments underway in Mission Heights, Citrus Grove and Kent Terrace with over 1400 residential sections in progress. And recent upgrading of Taradale's town centre is bringing it in to the 21st Century, as $3.5 million in council funds has been committed to undertake an upgrade including streetscape and enhanced pedestrian linkages to slow traffic and improve customer access. A revised parking plan forms part of the overall strategy as does further integration with public green space and services such as the library.

War Memorial Clock Tower

Taradale Clock Tower


The Taradale clock tower was built in 1923 as a Taradale and District World War 1 Memorial. The tower is situated where several roads converge and is a prominent landmark. Designed by John Ellis and built by Mr AB Davis the hexagonal tower stands 15m high. The tower was unveiled in 1923 by Admiral Viscount Jellicoe, Governor General of New Zealand. Following the 1931 earthquake, the tower developed a lean of two feet (0.76m) but was able to be restored by John Ellis. In 1997 murals depicting the three armed services were painted by Brenda Morrell.

Education

Taradale has several schools with decile rating ranging between 7 and 10, including Taradale, Arthur Miller, Fairhaven, Bledisloe, Reignier Catholic, Greenmeadows, Taradale Intermediate School and Taradale High Schoolmarker. There is also the ever expanding Eastern Institute of Technologymarker (EIT) which provides a broad range of diploma and degree qualifications.

Facilities

Taradale also hosts the Pettigrew Green Arenamarker which is a large facility which can accommodate for small or large sports games, concerts and fairs. It also has a gym, squash / badminton facilities, yoga and ball training as well as the Sports Hawkes Bay office. Sports Hawkes Bay helps with promoting sport to young people, organising games and competitions and has a service offered to young children to help them lead more healthy lives, as well as some programs for adults.

Park Island Sports complex is within 5 minutes drive of Taradale and is heavily used for local, regional and national sporting events, in particular soccer hockey and rugby.

Tourism

Mission Estate Winery nestled under Sugarloaf hill
Wineries

Taradale is the location of some of the region’s oldest established wineries'

The Mission Estate Winery in Church Road is one of New Zealand’s oldest winemaking concerns and has become a very significant tourist attraction. French Missionaries established the Hawke’s Bay Marist Mission at Pakowhai in 1851. Originally known as 'The Society of Mary', this order moved to Meeanee in 1958 and established a vineyard to produce sacramental and table wines, a church and school were built soon after. In 1880 a new two storied house was built as a seminary. Following the 1887 flood an 800 acre (325 hectares) property in Church Road was purchased from Henry Tiffen and a new vineyard was established. Some of the original terracing can be seen on the hillside area now used for the annual Mission Concert. In 1910 the Mount St.Mary Seminary building was moved from Meeanee to its present Mission location on Church Road. It was cut into eleven sections and rolled on logs towed by a traction engine, an operation that took two days, photographs of this can be seen in the Mission gallery. An accommodation block was built and opened in February 1931, the next day the Hawke's Bay earthquake struck, causing serious damage to the entire Mission. Two priest and seven students were killed when the stone chapel was destroyed.

Today the Mission Estate Wineries Mount St.Mary Seminary building has recently been completely refurbished to accommodate a first class restaurant and function rooms. The Mission is a favourite venue for weddings.

The now well known “ Mission Concert” has been held every February for many years and has become an event not to be missed.

The Church Road Winery (formally known as McDonalds Winery) founded in 1897 by Bartholemew Steinmetz, a lay brother from the Marist Mission, this winery is one of the oldest in Hawke's Bay. Some of its most illustrious years were spent under the leadership of pioneer winemaker, Tom McDonald, now widely acknowledged as the father of New Zealand's premium red wine industry. The winery buildings have in recent years been refurbished in the Art Deco style and include a restaurant and function room together with a Wine Museum housed under ground, traces the history and techniques of winemaking.

With the rapid growth of the wine industry in Hawkes Baymarker the number of new wineries in the Taradale area is increasing and for those with an interest in wine and good food. Other wineries near the area include Brookfield's Vineyards Hawke's Bay's Oldest Boutique Winery, Dobel Estate situated on the banks of the Tutaekuri River, Moana Park Winery, Park Estate Winery and Tironui Estate nestled just below Sugarloaf hill.

Gloucester St, the main street and shopping area of Taradale, is located within 2 km of the wineries and is perfectly situated to benefit from the regular influx of visitors generated by these wineries.

Scenic

Sugar Loaf Reserve

The 127m hill known as Sugar Loaf or Pukekura dominates the Skyline of the western hills above Taradale and its distinctive shape can be seen from all over Taradale and parts of Napier. On the summit of the hill was once Pukehura Pa, an outpost pa of Otatara Pa and Hikurangi Pa, built and occupied at about the same time. Mr G Halliwell bought the hill and surrounding land from Henry Tiffen in the 1980s. It has always been a focus for recreation and a symbol in the area, probably due to the magnificent 360 degree views of Hawke's Bay from the summit. In the 1920s it was site of moonlight particularly popular with the younger set, and in the 1930s motor bike races were held in Taradale each Easter and the hill climb section took the riders up the steep slopes of Sugar Loaf. The hill did not escape unscathed in the earthquake of 1931. Church Road Winery winemaker Tom McDonald recalled 'seeing the top of the hill rise up in the air and fall down again an estimated seven feet'. The Halliwell family gifted the summit and surrounding area in the 1980s to be retained as a reserve.

Eastern views from the summit cover the Napier-Taradale area and much of the Heretaunga Plains, while western views include the Ruahine and Kaweka Ranges.

The track to the summit is steep especially from the Cumberland Rise entrance. The walk is graded moderate to difficult. Care should be taken in wet conditions.

Dolbel Reserve

The Reserve is named after brothers Philip and Richard Dolbel who came from Jersey to New Zealand in 1855, the farming land they owned included the present Dolbel Reserve. The reserve covers 18 hectares of flat land and hill terrain and a walk to the top gives extensive views over Hawke's Bay from Mahia to Cape Kidnappers. There are approximately 10km of track both on the flat and climbing to the hilltop over open slopes and through gullies of native planting. In 1991 Taradale Rotary Club took on the project of creating a tree park on this council owned reserve under the guidance of the former Napier Council Parks and Reserves Manager Don Bell. The vision of the Rotary was to establish a memorial park of trees for the free use of the community, with people able to arrange to plant a tree to mark an important family mile stone.

Anderson Park

Anderson Park covers an area of 40 hectares and is situated on what was once a racecourse owned by Henry Tiffen. The Napier Racing set up their headquarters here in 1886 and racing continued until 1961. Several saltwater creeks, used as hazards in the horse races, traversed the area and the line of these can still be traced in the contours of the park. The large pond was used as a "borrowing pond", the silt being dredged and spread on the straight each season to level the top-dress it. In 1931 the large open space was used as a field hospital to cope with the casualties of the earthquake. After the stand was demolished the rubble, rather than being removed, was consolidated and grassed over, now forming a low mound on the southern side of the park. A block of the original stables has been preserved on the western edge of the park, today used as Parks and Reserve Department storage. The park could have become a residential subdivision but was acquired as a pleasure grounds in 1962 by the Napier City Council and has been developed in the fine open space it is today. On his death in 1962 Mr Haskell Anderson, after whom the park was named and founder of the large local nursery, be bequeathed to the Napier City Council to establish the JN Anderson Family Endowment Fund for tree planting.

References

  1. The population shown is the sum of the populations for the Area Units of Taradale North ( ), Taradale South ( ) and Greenmeadows ( )


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