Hastings - Heart of Hawke's Bay

History of Hastings District

Hastings was first settled in 1884, was declared a city in 1954 and became a district with the inclusion of Havelock North Borough and the Hawke’s Bay County Council in 1989.

The 1931 Hawke’s Bay earthquake (7.8 on the richter scale) destroyed much of the CBD while the subsequent fires also caused major damage. The CBD was rebuilt in the Art Deco and Spanish Mission style which is evident in many of the buildings which remain today.


Hastings economy today is very different to the way it used to be. The downturn in the meat processing industry in the 1980’s caused the large freezing works at Whakatu and Tomoana to close putting many people out of work. However, the regional economy has bounced back strongly from those days and now thrives again on the back of the strong wine and agriculture industries.