"Te Kaunihera a rohe mai i nga Kuri-a-Wharei ki Otamarakau ki te Uru"
It is a growth area of New Zealand, with a population of about 46,000 people. The main urban centres include Waihi Beach, Katikati, Omokoroa, Te Puna, Te Puke and Maketu.
HISTORYThe Western Bay of Plenty has a long history of occupation by Maori.
The western area of the District (Tauranga Moana) was occupied by the iwi of Ngati Ranginui, Ngaiterangi, Ngati Pukenga from the waka Takitumu and Mataatua. Te Arawa descendents from the waka Te Arawa inhabited much of the eastern area of the District and south to Rotorua.
Traders and missionaries were among the first European settlers who developed communities at Maketu and Tauranga. George Vesey Stewart founded Ulster settlements at both Katikati in 1875 and Te Puke in 1880.
Tauranga, Te Puke and Katikati formed the nucleus for subsequent expansion of European pastoral farms. Te Puke and Katikati have grown steadily over the years.
Roads linking settlements and farming areas were developed by local highway boards initially and later by the Tauranga County Council. Pockets of urban development have grown around the shores of Tauranga Harbour, usually where there is boat access to the harbour.
These settlements include Athenree, Island View, Pio Beach, Tanners Point, Tuapiro Point, Tuapiro, Ongare Point, Te Kauri Village, Omokoroa, Plummers Point and Te Puna West. Little Waihi developed on the western edge of the Waihi Estuary. Along the Pacific Coast, Waihi Beach and Pukehina Beach have grown from being popular holiday places to more permanent settlements.
The Western Bay is one of the country's fastest growing rural areas. The 2013 Census figures show Western Bay of Plenty District had a resident population count of 43,692 – an increase of 4.5 percent (1869 people) since the 2006 Census.
This figures below highlight population growth across the Western Bay over last three Census periods.Western Bay of Plenty District Census Populations:
2006: 41,826 2013: 43,692