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Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.



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During the past decade (1951–61) the region in every respect has displayed a rate of growth below national levels, though in some cases the growth has been substantial enough. The total population of the Wairarapa increased by 17·54 per cent, the increase being registered largely in the urban areas. The increase in sheep shorn, 13·20 per cent, was markedly below the New Zealand level, and that for lambs shorn, 54·53, somewhat below. The total labour force grew at only half the national rate (7·5 per cent), and although the increase in the manufacturing labour force was higher (18·18 per cent) it fell behind the national figure of 24·14 per cent.

The Wairarapa with 34·96 per cent of its labour force in primary industries is a predominantly agricultural region. Consequently, its development is dependent largely upon the intensification of farming. Without a port, and subsidiary to Wellington and Palmerston North, it has few attractions for the industrialist. Without the stimulus of industry its growth is likely to be slower than that of other North Island regions.

by Samuel Harvey Franklin, B.COM.GEOG., M.A.(BIRMINGHAM), Senior Lecturer, Geography Department, Victoria University of Wellington.

Old Greytown, 1854–1954, Bagnall, A. G. (1953); Masterton's First Hundred Years, Bagnall, A. G. (1954); A History of Carterton, 1857–1957, Bagnall, A. G. (1957); Forest Homes – Scandinavian Settlements in New Zealand, Petersen, G. C. (1956); Proceedings of the Third New Zealand Geography Conference, Palmerston North, 1962, “The Land and the Squatter – Wairarapa 1843–1953”, Hill, R. D.; Pacific Viewpoint, Vol. 1 (1960), “The Village and the Bush – the Evolution of the Village Community, Wellington Province, New Zealand”, Franklin, S. H.; New Zealand Journal of Agriculture, Vol. 92 (1956), “Farming in the Wairarapa Plain”, Mason, G.; Ib., Vol. 102 (1961), “Wairarapa Inland Hill Country”, Spite, F. G.