Local History

Local History Collection & Archives

Local History Collection

Hastings Library has a Local History Collection covering the history of Hastings and District. These are Reference items and may only be used in the library.  In addition there are many items available in the lending collections.

Community Archives

Both Hastings and Havelock North Libraries have Community Archives.  These are available Monday to Friday only, and it is best to make an appointment with the Archives Librarian at either library. 

Dictionary of New Zealand Biography

The Dictionary of New Zealand Biography is published both in print version (available in our libraries) and online.

The website contains "over 3,000 biographies of New Zealanders how have 'made their mark' on this country.  It does not include people who are alive. So you will not find people like Helen Clark or Sean Fitzpatrick, but you will find people like George Nepia or Michael Joseph Savage."

Browse or search on names.  Find the DNZB at www.teara.govt.nz/en/biographies

Hastings & District War Memorials

Hawke's Bay has many memorials to those who died in conflicts during the 20th Century.

Hastings War Memorial Library was built as a memorial to those from the Hastings district who died in World War 2.   Our Hall of Memories is a very special place.

In Civic Square we also have the Hastings Cenotaph, erected in memory of those who died in World War 1.

To commemorate those brave people who bought with their lives the freedom we enjoy today, library staff have compiled a list of Hastings District memorials and rolls of honour.  We have also attempted to add their first names where possible. 

Hastings Blossom Festival

Blossom Festival

See the Festival Programme at www.visithastings.co.nz

Photo collection of Hastings Blossom Parades:  See Knowledge Bank : Hawke's Bay Digital Archives Trust at http://hb.knowledgebank.org.nz

The Knowledge Bank would welcome any other Blossom Parade images to digitise and add to their collection.

1950 - The First Blossom Festival

  • After a meeting in March 1950, Greater Hastings Inc was formed to promote Hastings, attract visitors and assert the town's rivalry with Napier which had just become a city. 
  • With support from retailers and fruitgrowers, Greater Hastings Inc. organised the first Blossom Week Festival to mark the start of the 1950-51 fruit season. Streets and shop windows were bedecked with paper blossoms. 
  • The highlight of the week was the parade with 41 decorated floats. 
  • People danced in the streets to band music until around 10.30pm. 
  • With the success of the first festival, it then became an annual event, attracting up to 50,000 people some years.  

Hastings Statistics

Statistics New Zealand gathers comprehensive data on many aspects of our region.

Visit their website to find the latest economic, social and demographic statistics for Hastings District and Hawke's Bay.

2013 Census

StatsMaps at www.stats.govt.nz/statsmaps/home.aspx- Has latest Census results and allows you to click on a Region, Territorial Authority, Area Unit or stats.


2006 Census - QuickStats about the Hawke's Bay region>>

2006 Census - QuickStats about the Hastings District>>

New Zealand Geographic areas:

2006 Cenus www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/people_and_communities/Geographic-areas.aspx 

Hastings War Memorial Library - History Highlights

From a free reading room to computerised services, the Hastings Library has evolved over many years. Our buildings have been built, fallen down (literally), moved, rebuilt and extended, to provide a much used community service in the heart of Hastings.

Photo: The old Hastings Library building in Market Street South, destroyed in the 1931 Hawke's Bay earthquake.

Hawke's Bay Local History Repositories

The main repositories of local history information are the Hawke's Bay Museum. Hastings & Havelock North Libraries, Napier Library and the Hawke's Bay Museum. 

Recently launched is the Hawke's Bay Knowledge Bank, an online digital "living record" - see http://hb.knowledgebank.org.nz.

Hawke's Bay local history records and items may also be located at National Archives and the Alexander Turnbull Library (part of the National Library) in Wellington. 

Historic Buildings in Hastings District

The Hastings District was devastated by the 1931 earthquake.  The damaged buildings were replaced by strongly reinforced buildings in the Art Deco and Spanish Mission styles. 

Some buildings did survive the earthquake, so we now have an interesting mixture of architectural styles and some very fine buildings. 

Local History Images

Images of our district's history can be found in a variety of resources. 

Online collections of digital images can be searched from home or in the libraries.

Landmarks History Group

The Landmarks History Group is holding a series of monthly talks on Hawke's Bay history.  The topics are varied and interesting.  All are welcome to attend.

The meetings are held on the second Tuesday of the month, 5:30pm - 6.30pm, upstairs at Hastings War Memorial Library.

Meeting - Tuesday 8 April 2014

Pat Taylor - From Pigs to Pickles

For 20 years Pat and her husband built up and ran the Patuna Pickles Factory on the outskirts of Hastings.  This is Pat's story...

Archives Images Terms of Use

Terms of Use - Images from Hastings District Libraries Archives

You may take copies of a HDLimage for use in any not-for-profit way, provided the Hastings District Libraries are credited as the source and the archive accession number of the photo is quoted.

A link to www.hastingslibrary.co.nz is preferred in electronic works.

You may not use HDL Archives images for any form of commercial gain without the written consent of the Hastings District Libraries  Manager.

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