New Plymouth is the port and main city in the Taranaki region on the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand.
The area where New Plymouth was founded had been the historic home for several Maori iwi (tribes) for centuries. Early European whalers operated in the area for some time before the ship William Bryant arrived in 1840 to disembark the first of the European settlers, with the town of New Plymouth being established in 1841. Settlers came from not only from Britain (as the majority of New Zealand's settlers did) but also from Poland, Switzerland, The Netherlands, China and India. These newcomers found it easy to purchase land at first, but settlement proved increasingly difficult as the years passed, with more and more Maori-owned fertile farming land was wanted. Many Maori were not interested in selling and this led to conflict, and ten years of war in the area - see First Taranaki War and Second Taranaki War.
Today, the city is a service centre for the region's principle economic activities including intensive pastoral activities (mainly dairy farming) as well as oil, gas and petrochemical exploration and production. New Plymouth is also a bustling financial centre as the home of the Taranaki Savings Bank, which is the only 100% New Zealand-owned bank in the country and has topped banking surveys in customer service and satisfaction. The population is about 49,000. Notable features are the excellent botanic gardens, the controversial 45 m high artwork called the wind wand designed by Len Lye, and the picturesque views of the mountain Taranaki, (also known as Mount Egmont ).
Being a coastal city with a mountain within one hour's drive away, the more adventurous residents of New Plymouth can snowboard, ski, water ski and surf all in the same day.
· 14 年前