Napier CityCommunity profile
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Napier City

About the profile areas

The 2018 population for Napier City is 62,238, with a population density of 5.93 persons per hectare.


Note: This page displays the area boundaries used for the 2018 Census. In some cases, these are significantly different to the pre-2018 areas. For more on this, see the Census 2018 page.

Location and boundaries

Napier City is located in the Hawkes Bay Region of the south-eastern coast of New Zealand's North Island, about 320 kilometres north-east of Wellington. Napier City is bounded by the Esk River in the north, the Pacific Ocean in the north-east and east, and the Hastings District Council area in the south and west.

Name origin

Napier is named after Sir Charles Napier, the hero of the Battle of Meeanee in the Indian province of Scinde. Napier is known as the Art Deco city.

Profile areas
Napier City

Settlement history

European settlement dates primarily from the early 1850s, with land used mainly for farming. A township developed, although initially this was confined to the hill and to the port area of Ahuriri. Growth took place from the 1870s into the early 1900s, aided by improved access. In 1931 a large earthquake destroyed most of the commercial heart of Napier. The earthquake raised some areas of land, making about 4,000 hectares of sea-bed become dry land, leaving large areas of land available for urban expansion. The city was extensively rebuilt, with expansion spreading to the south-west, mainly from the 1950s. Rapid population growth took place during the 1960s and 1970s, particularly in and around Taradale, Tamatea and Greenmeadows. The population of the City increased slightly during the early 1990s, rising from about 51,000 in 1991 to over 53,000 in 1996. The population was relatively stable during the late 1990s, and then increased gradually to over 57,000 people in 2013. Growth since the 1990s has largely been in the southern suburbs of Taradale South and Greenmeadows, and more recently in Meeanee and the western suburb of Poraiti.

Land use

Napier City features both urban and rural areas, with about two-thirds of land being rural, and one third being urban. The urban areas include residential, commercial and industrial land use. Rural land is used largely for sheep grazing, market gardening, and apple, pear and stonefruit growing, with some timber production and cattle grazing. The City encompasses a total land area of over 100 square kilometres.


Napier City is served by the State Highway 2, State Highway 5, Hawke’s Bay Expressway (State Highway 50) and Hawke’s Bay Airport.

Major features

Major features of the City include the Port of Napier, the Inner Harbour, Ahuriri Estuary, Napier Aquatic Centre, National Aquarium of New Zealand, Hawke’s Bay Museum & Art Gallery, Napier Municipal Theatre, Centennial Event Centre, Ocean Spa, Westshore Lagoon, Central Napier Shopping area, Beach Domain, Bluff Hill Domain, Papakura Domain, Marine Parade Beach, Westshore Beach, Napier Botanical Gardens, Maraenui Golf Club, Park Island Recreation Ground, Eastern Institute of Technology (Taradale Campus), Ahuriri Park, Anderson Park, Bledisloe Park, Dolbel Reserve, Kennedy Park, Marewa Park, McLean Park, Nelson Park, Onekawa Park, Perfume Point Recreation Reserve, Sturm’s Gully Reserve, Sugar Loaf Reserve, Taradale Park, Westshore Wildlife Reserve, Whitmore Park and various wineries.

Indigenous background

The original inhabitants of the Napier area were the Ngati Kahungunu Māori people.

Included areas

Napier City includes the suburbs and localities of Ahuriri, Awatoto, Bay View, Bluff Hill, Greenmeadows, Hospital Hill, Maraenui, Marewa, McLean Park, Meeanee, Nelson Park, Onekawa Central, Onekawa South, Onekawa West, Pirimai, Poraiti, Tamatea North, Tamatea South, Taradale North, Taradale South and Westshore.