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This article is about the New Zealand town. For the river, please refer to the Wairoa River article
Old Portland Lighthouse
Wairoa is a town in New Zealandmarker's North Islandmarker. It is the northernmost town in the Hawke's Baymarker region, and is located on the northern shore of Hawke Baymarker at the mouth of the Wairoa River and to the west of Mahia Peninsulamarker. It is 70 kilometres northeast of Napiermarker, and a similar distance southwest of Gisbornemarker.

Early settlement in the area included a whaling station and trading post, dealing largely in flax. Its initial name was Clyde, but this was changed largely to avoid confusion with Clivemarker near Napier and Clydemarker in the South Islandmarker. The north part of the town is called North Clyde. The town rose to prominence during the New Zealand Wars, during which time it was a garrison town.

Wairoa is a manufacturing and farming service town. It is the seat of the Wairoa District Council. The Wairoa District covers the northern half of the bay's coast, and extends from Mahia Peninsulamarker to Lake Waikaremoanamarker, and south to the mouth of the Waikare River. It has a population of 8,481 inhabitants (2006 census). The District has a land area of 4,119.18 kmĀ² (1,590.42 sq mi).

Wairoa has one secondary school, Wairoa Collegemarker.

Wairoa is situated on the SH2, which gives connections to Gisborne to the north east and Napier to the south west.Wairoa is connected to the Central North Island by SH38 which goes from Wai-O-Tapumarker via Muruparamarker and Frasertownmarker to Wairoa, and which connects to Rotoruamarker via Te Urewera, and Lake Waikaremoana.

Since 2005, Wairoa has been host to the annual Wairoa Maori Film Festival, New Zealand's premiere Maori and indigenous film festival, which has hosted film makers from across the nation and around the world.


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