The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Taranaki, Hawke's Bay & Wellington Provincial Districts]
The chief tract of level country is the Ruataniwha Plain, about fifty miles south of Napier; it is about 120 square miles in extent, and is chiefly taken up by sheep runs, carrying a large amount of stock. The Heretaunga Plain is another stretch of open country, immediately south of Napier. It is of a rich alluvial soil, and is about ninety square miles in area. Most of it is thickly settled and cultivated, while the balance is used for grazing. The only other plain of any size is at the back of Poverty Bay. It is about sixty-five square miles in area, and, being fertile and well cultivated, it carries a prosperous population.