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Record type: Notional

Record: Protecting the Heretaunga Plains Exhibition: The Early Period, 1867-1910



The Early Period, 1867-1910

There are three principal rivers on the Heretaunga Plains: the Tukituki, Ngaruroro and Tutaekuri. These rivers do not have particularly large catchments, but channel considerable run off compared to other rivers in the North Island. Flooding has long been a significant problem; the earliest recorded flood in 1867 devastated the area.

Five River Boards were established on the Plains between 1877 and 1895 and these attempted to provide some protection for their area. But the Districts they covered were small and none of them were in a position to tackle the major problem of protecting the whole of the Plains.

These problems became increasingly apparent in the years after the major 1897 flood and led to the Hawke’s Bay Rivers Act 1910. This abolished the existing four boards and formed a new one “to provide for the improvement of unproductive lands within the said district, and for the more effectual control of the Tutaekuri, Ngaruroro and Tuki Tuki Rivers”. 


The first minutes of the Taradale River Board, from 1877. It was originally called the Taradale District Board of River Conservators.

Reference: HBRC 00029 : 1








A record of some of the early floods in the Heretaunga Plains during this time.

Reference: HBRC 00055 : 2
















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