Hamilton, New Zealand

From Academic Kids

Waikato River passing through Hamilton
Waikato River passing through Hamilton

Hamilton is New Zealand's 4th-largest metropolitan area. It is situated in the Waikato district (North Island) about one and a half hours' drive south of Auckland. The local iwi (Maori tribe) is Tainui.

The area now covered by the city was originally the site of a handful of Maori villages, including Kirikiriroa, from which the city takes its Maori name. By the time English settlers arrived, most of these villages, which sat beside the Waikato River, were abandoned. The new English settlement was renamed Hamilton after Captain Fane Charles Hamilton, the popular commander of HMS Esk, who was killed in the battle of Gate Pa, Tauranga. The city is located near the southernmost navigable reach of the Waikato River, amidst New Zealand's richest and most fertile agricultural land. Initially an agricultural service centre, it now has a growing and diverse economy.

Education and research are important to the city, through the University of Waikato and through the agricultural research centre at Ruakura, which have been responsible for much of New Zealand's innovation in agriculture. Hamilton annually hosts the National Agricultural Fieldays at Mystery Creek, the southern hemisphere's largest agricultural trade exhibition. Mystery Creek is the country's largest event centre and hosts other events of national importance, such as the National Car Show and the National Boat Show. Manufacturing and retail are also important to the local economy, as is the provision of health services through the Waikato Base Hospital. The city is home to New Zealand's only aircraft-manufacturing operation, as well as its largest concentration of trailer-boat manufacturers.

Missing image

Urban Area Population 179,000
Extent north to Taupiri; south

to Kihikihi; southeast to
Cambridge; and extensive
adjacent countryside

Name Hamilton City
Population 125,000
Extent Te Rapa to Glenview;

Temple View to Silverdale

See also Matamata-Piako District

South Waikato District
Waikato District
Waipa District
Waitomo District

Name Waikato

Hamilton is a rapidly growing small city of over 120,000 people, including 25,000 students, mostly enrolled in one of the city's two tertiary institutes, the University of Waikato and Waikato Institute of Technology. It is centrally located within the North Island, with around 1.5 million people - 40% of New Zealand's total population - living within a 250-km radius. The city lies at a major rail and road nexus. Its airport has now been upgraded to service international flights, although these are still largely restricted to trans-Tasman and Polynesian destinations.

Because of its rapid growth, some consider its more recent suburbs lacking in character; however the centre of the city is vibrant and lively, with the Waikato river bisecting the city, and has the second-largest collection of cafés in the country—second only to Ponsonby Road in Auckland. As of 2004, the city is a vibrant place enjoying the benefits of rapid growth and not yet suffering from the negative consequences, though traffic congestion is increasing at a faster rate than population growth.

Hamilton Gardens is the region's most popular tourist attraction and hosts the Hamilton Gardens Summer Festival each year. Other local attractions include Hamilton Zoo, the Waikato Museum of Art and Culture, the Art Post art gallery, and Sky Riverside casino. Just 20 minutes' drive away is Ngaruawahia, the location of Turangawaewae Marae and the home of the Maori Queen.

The local rugby union teams are Waikato (NPC) and the Chiefs (Super 12). The local colours are yellow, red and black hoops, and the provincial mascot is Mooloo, an anthropomorphic cow.

External links

Template:Territorial Authorities of New Zealandbg:Хамилтън de:Hamilton (Neuseeland) zh:汉密尔顿 (新西兰)


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