New Plymouth is the major city of the Taranaki Region on the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand. It is named after the British city of Plymouth from where the first English settlers migrated, the New Plymouth District includes New Plymouth City and several smaller towns. The New Plymouth District is the 10th largest district in New Zealand, the district has a population of 74,184 – about two-thirds of the total population of the Taranaki Region. This includes New Plymouth City, Waitara, Inglewood, Oakura, Okato, the city itself is a service centre for the regions principal economic activities including intensive pastoral activities as well as oil, natural gas and petrochemical exploration and production. It is also the financial centre as the home of the TSB Bank. As described under awards, New Plymouth won multiple awards in 2008, the city was in 2010 chosen as one of two walking & cycling Model Communities by the government. Based on New Plymouths already positive attitude towards cyclists and pedestrians and it is also noted for being a coastal city with a mountain within 30 minutes drive, where residents and visitors to New Plymouth can snowboard, ski, water ski and surf all in the same day. In 1828 Richard Dicky Barrett set up a trading post at Ngamotu after arriving on the trading vessel Adventure, Barrett traded with the local Māori and helped negotiate the purchase of land from them on behalf of the New Zealand Company. Settlers were selected by the Plymouth Company, which was set up to attract emigrants from the West Country of England, the first of the towns settlers arrived on the William Bryan, which anchored off the coast on 31 March 1841. The New Zealand Constitution Act 1852 created the New Plymouth Province, with a Provincial Council given jurisdiction over an area of 400, five years later the name of the province changed to Taranaki Province. The province was abolished in 1876, a Town Board was formed in 1863 and in August 1876 the town was constituted as a borough. Its new status did little to overcome some outside perceptions, however, I find a great liking for this slow, old hole. It is a quiet, unassuming place and has not done so much to attract immigrants and settlers by exaggerating reports, as some districts have done. The Fitzroy Town District was merged with New Plymouth borough in August 1911, Vogeltown, Frankleigh Park and Westown were added a year later, by 1913 the town had a population of 7538. New Plymouth was declared a city in 1949, every three years the Mayor,14 councillors and 16 community board members are elected by the New Plymouth Districts enrolled voters. The full council, sub-committees and standing committees meet on a six-weekly cycle, the Policy and Monitoring standing committees have delegated authority from the council to make final decisions on certain matters, and they make recommendations to the council on all others. The four community boards–Clifton, Waitara, Inglewood and Kaitake–as well as the subcommittees, New Plymouth District Councils annual operating revenue for 2008/2009 is more than $188 million. The current Mayor of New Plymouth is Andrew Judd, in May 2016 Judd announced that he will not run for mayor again in the upcoming local government elections
Looking across New Plymouth with Mount Taranaki in the distance in mid-July 2010
New Plymouth City Council Coat-of-Arms as used from 1949
Te Rewa Rewa Bridge which immediately became a symbol of the extensive cycling opportunities that have been created in and around New Plymouth.