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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
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.



Rich Coastal Lowlands

The coastal lowlands stretch from Patea to Bulls and extend inland for 5 to 10 miles. Between the mouths of the Rangitikei and Turakina Rivers and the Kai Iwi and Waitotara Streams especially, sanddune encroachment is marked, and in some areas tree-planting schemes have been utilised tofix them, notably in the vicinity of Lake Alice. To the west of Bulls, however, very prosperous farms have been established upon the sand-dune country. For the most part the coastal lowlands are underlain by Quaternary sediments dissected into broad, flat interfluves and wide, flat-bottomed valleys, shelving gently towards the coast where they form cliffs. Between Turakina, Marton, and Bulls the lowlands become more extensive and merge with the anticlinal “downland” areas of the Manawatu. These coastal lowlands are unquestionably one of the richest farming areas of the southern part of the North Island, a fact attested to by the large number of very fine homesteads, by the high quality of the stock, and the renown of some of the stud flocks. Their productiveness and the sharp contrast in farming conditions between the coastal zone and the hill country are borne out by the statistics for the increase in sheep and lambs shorn in the period 1951–52 to 1959–60. For the region as a whole there was a 12·52-per-cent increase in sheep shorn (well below the national level of 29·81 per cent). The number of lambs shorn increased by 76·08 per cent, which was approximately 10 per cent higher than the national rate of increase. For Rangitikei County alone the increase was 102·83 per cent compared with Waimarino County's figure of 42·24 per cent.