Local history timeline


  • takitimu arrives


    Takitimu arrives at Te Awanui (original name for Tauranga Harbour) - became known as Ngāti Ranginui.


  • red ochre


    Battle of Kokowai (red ochre) on Mauao: Ngāi Te Rangi conquest of Tauranga.

  • battle of mauao

    1820: January

    Battle of Mauao: Ngāpuhi chief, Te Morenga destroys Mauao Pā. Ngāi Te Rangi chief Te Wani saves Otūmoetai Pā - makes peace with Te Morenga at Matuaiwi Pā.  

    1828: March

    Sack of Otamataha Pā at Te Papa (Tauranga). Chief Koraurau along with 500 of his people are killed & many enslaved. The pā is destroyed & the site later becomes Mission Cemetery.

  • seige of otumoetai

    1832: March

    Siege of Ōtūmoetai: Ngāpuhi attack Otūmoetai Pā.

    1834: September

    Alfred Brown and William Williams select a site at Te Papa for a new Church Missionary Society (CMS) Mission Station.

    1838: January

    Reverend Alfred Nesbit Brown and family arrive at Te Papa.

  • Treaty of Waitangi Sheet
    1840: April

    Treaty of Waitangi sheet arrives in Tauranga. It is signed by 21 Māori.

    1842: May

    Sack of Ongare: Ngāti Tamaterā chief Tāraia destroys Ongare Pā near Katikati.

    1845: September

    Peace treaty between Ngāi Te Rangi and Arawa.

  • motiti


    Mōtītī Dispute: Ngāi Te Rangi and Arawa
    Mōtītī Dispute

  • gate pamaori victory

    1864: January

    Warships arrive in Tauranga Harbour - Military occupation.

    1864: April

    Battle of Gate Pā at Pukehinahina - Māori victory.

    1864: June

    Battle of Te Ranga - Imperial Troops victory.


    Military settlers taking up farm and town lots.

    1867: Jan - March

    Tauranga Bush Campaign.

  • BOP times established


    Bay of Plenty Times established.

  • George Vessey


    Tauranga gazetted a Borough. George Vesey Stewart elected first mayor.

  • ranui

    1950: December

    Ranui Disaster: 19 holiday makers and 3 crew drowned.

  • tauranga

    1963: July

    Kaimai Air Disaster: 23 people die in what remains New Zealand's worst internal aviation disaster.


    Tauranga becomes a city.

  • te awanui waka


    Kaimai Tunnel Collapse. The western end of the Kaimai tunnel collapses during construction. 11 men are trapped, 7 are rescued but 4 die.


    Te Awanui waka launched in Tauranga harbour.


    First train through Kaimai Tunnel.

  • townhall

    1981: September

    Ruahihi Canal Collapse: One day after Ruahihi Power Station is officially opened, the eastern bank of the canal supplying water to the Ruahihi Power Station collapses.

    1987: September

    Occupation of Tauranga Town Hall by Māori.


    Tauranga and Mount Maunganui Councils amalgamate. Name of Tauranga City changed to Tauranga District Council.


  • oceanside hotel


    Oceanside Hotel at Mount Maunganui demolished for high-rise apartments.

  • tauranga


    Population reaches 100,000. Tauranga District renamed Tauranga City.

  • rena disaster

    2011: October

    Rena Disaster: The MV Rena strikes on Otaiti (Astrolabe Reef). The result is New Zealand's worst maritime environmental disaster.



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