Welcome to Gisborne City NZ by Author: Witi Ihimaera

Witi Ihimaera   Introduction by Witi Ihimaera

       (Gisborne District's prominent New Zealand author)

'Witi Ihimaera's The Whale Rider, Pounamu, Pounamu,and other books are published by Penguin New Zealand.'

Welcome to Gisborne city

       from Witi Ihimaera - NZ author...

    Nga Taonga O Te Whenua -

           The treasures of our land.

This is a Maori greeting welcoming all visitors to Gisborne and the East Coast.


While you are here you are ‘waewae tapu’, our very special guests, and we look forward to your visit. We want you to enjoy the taonga, the treasures of our land.


Our first treasure is our environment, The Gisborne District is renowned all over the world as the first place to receive the morning sun. Perhaps it is because of this that we have always been a horticultural and pastoral paradise.


We are certainly not a ‘Poverty Bay’ and we hope that you will find this in your explorations of bush, beach, river and mountain. Incidentally we also have some of the best swimming and surfing beaches in the world and, unlike Waikiki, they are not overcrowded.


Our second taonga is the Maori people, whose heritage of arts and culture has made Turanga (the maori name for Gisborne) unique. You are in the lands of the Ngati Porou, Rongowhakaata, Te Aitanga A Mahaki, and Ngai Tamanuhiri.


You are also being hosted by the Kahungunu, Tuhoe, Whakatohea, and Te Whanua A Apanui. These maraes and historic gathering places are amongst the finest in New Zealand.. If you have the opportunity please try to attend a Maori gathering. It is only by doing this that you can obtain the full feeling of Maori aroha (love) and awhina (hospitality).


The third taonga is the gifts which European settlement have brought to the district. Gisborne was the first place sighted by James Cook, the pakeha discoverer of New Zealand. Subsequent migrants have made our region a place where the visitor can sample infinite delights - a thriving prosperous community with an annual calendar of events including agricultural fairs, rodeos, arts and cultural festivals and sporting meets.


We also boast some fine restaurants, theatrical and musical events, river rafting, deep sea fishing and farm pursuits like horse riding.

If you like your holiday in the rural vein, you’ve come to the right place.