Hāwera is South Taranaki's largest town, servicing a large rural area. Hāwera means “the burnt place” or “breath of fire” and takes its name from the old Māori village of Te Hāwera, which was located approximately 3km south east of the present town.
Hāwera suffered extensive blazes in 1884, 1888 and 1912. In 1914, a large water tower was built in the centre of town to increase water pressure; and this is now one of Taranaki's best known landmarks.
Approximately 12,000 people enjoy the excellent residential and lifestyle options in Hāwera. Hāwera’s art gallery, parks, movie and performance theatres are all within easy walking distance and its sports, events and function centre, the TSB Hub, is only one kilometre from the town centre.
The Council is currently looking at redeveloping the Hāwera Town Centre and a Town Centre Strategy has been developed to help build a vibrant and economically sustainable town centre that will attract new residents, business and visitors. This strategy gives a foundation for exciting change in Hāwera's Town Centre over the next few years. Find out more about this project here.
The region in general relies on its natural and physical resources for its social and economic wellbeing. Oil and gas reserves and sheep, beef and dairy farming all contribute to the local economy, Whareroa Fonterra, just two kilometres south of the township, produces the largest volume of dairy ingredients from a single factory, anywhere in the world.
Hāwera is 71 kilometres south of New Plymouth on State Highway 3 and 20 minutes drive from Taranaki Maunga. It is located on State Highway 45 (known as Surf Highway 45 for its numerous surf beaches). State Highway 45 passes through Manaia, Ōpunakē and Oakura en route to New Plymouth. Kaponga is a 20 minute drive to the north-west.