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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Taranaki, Hawke's Bay & Wellington Provincial Districts]


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Hawera stands second to New Plymouth in Taranaki towns, and the municipality has jurisdiction over an area of 500 acres. Water is brought in by gravitation from the Kapuni river. A local gas company has, for many years, supplied the lighting of the town, both public and private, but the Hawera County Electric Light Company has a power house not many miles away, and electric light has, in many instances, superseded gas for lighting purposes. The municipal offices stand in High Street, in which there is also a very well appointed reading room and library. There are fine municipal baths in the centre of the town, and a well equipped abattoir stands some distance outside the boundary. The town has a volunteer fire brigade. Hawera is the county town of the county which bears the same name, and lies south-east from Mount Egmont, in the Hawera survey districts. The local railway station, which stands 343 feet above sea level, is forty-eight miles south-east from New Plymouth, and 203 miles from Wellington. It is also eighteen miles north-west of Patea, the most southern port in Taranaki. Hawera has a mounted and unmounted volunteer corps. The local industries include two very extensive timber and woodware factories, and there are also brick works, and butter and bacon factories. The Egmont Racing Club has an excellent racecourse, and holds meetings in February and May. Hawera is the scene of band contests in which competitors from all parts of New Zealand take part. The Agricultural and Pastoral Society holds an annual show, and there are other bodies which hold attractive gatherings. Hawera has a daily evening paper—the Hawera and Normanby Star—and a weekly paper is issued from the same office. The Hawera Club has a considerable town and country membership. There are several branch banks in the town, and the business of the Post and Telegraph Office and Telephone Exchange is conducted in a fine brick building. There is a local hospital, under the care of a Hospital and Charitable Aid Board. The town has a district high school, a primary school, and a Roman Catholic convent high school and primary school. There is a handsome English church in brick, and an ornate new wood and iron Methodist church on concrete foundations; and the Presbyterian and Roman Catholic bodies have very fine buildings. Hawera, as a market town, is visited by large numbers of country settlers from the surrounding districts, and important stock sales are held regularly. The Government Stock Inspector's office is on the first floor of the Post Office buildings; the District Court and Stipendiary Magistrate's Court is in Princes Street, with the police station. There is a resident Magistrate in Hawera, and an Inspector of Permanent Way is stationed there in connection with the railway. An active Acclimatisation Society has successful fish hatcheries near the town. Apart from its churches, Hawera has some fine substantial brick buildings. The business men are progressive, and, as members of the local Chamber of Commerce, they meet regularly to consider mercantile and public questions. Retail trades are prominently represented, some of them by remarkably fine establishments. Coaches run daily between Hawera, Normanby, Manaia, and Opunake. Hawera is well supplied with medical men, surgeon-dentists and solicitors. The country around the town is of exceptionally rich quality, remarkable for its pastoral resources, and includes the famous Waimate Plains, which constitute one of the most valuable productive areas in New Zealand.