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Kaitaia

(4.5/5 based on 650+ reviews for top 10 attractions)
Things to do: beaches, shopping, museums
Kaitaia is a town in the Far North District of New Zealand, at the base of the Aupouri Peninsula, about 160 km northwest of Whangarei. It is the last major settlement on State Highway 1. Ahipara Bay, the southern end of Ninety Mile Beach, is 5 km west.The main industries are forestry and tourism. The population is 4,887 (2013 census), which makes it second largest town in the Far North District, after Kerikeri.The name Kaitaia means ample food, kai being the Māori word for food.The Muriwhenua are a group of six northern Māori iwi occupying the northernmost part of the North Island surrounding Kaitaia.HistoryThe Kaitaia Mission Station was established between 1833 and 1834 after a series of visits by the Church Missionary Society (CMS) representatives including Samuel Marsden, and at different times, Joseph Matthews and William Gilbert Puckey. Puckey and Matthews had married two sisters, Matilda, and Mary Ann Davis respectively, ( daughters of Richard Davis, a lay missioner based at Waimate). They formed a tight band, initially living together in raupo huts, and then in houses they built. As Puckey and the sisters were fluent in Maori, (Puckey having arrived in New Zealand in 1819 with his father, William Puckey, and the Davis family in 1823), they spoke Maori when together, to help Joseph pick up the language. Both families grew, and intermarried, forming the basis of the early Pakeha settler community. At one point, the Church Missionary Society decided that one of the two of Puckey and Matthews should move to a new location to the south to facilitate the spread of the word, but Nopera Panakareo wrote a heartfelt letter to the CMS committee, pleading not to take away 'one of the two candlesticks'.
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