The Taradale Marketing Association is putting together the finishing touches to plans for celebrations next weekend to mark the area's 130th anniversary.

Celebrations will be held in the Taradale shopping centre on Saturday, the day after the 130th anniversary of the establishment of the Taradale Town Board, part of the Hawke's Bay County, on December 2, 1886.

But the name dates back almost 30 years earlier to the arrival of Irish immigrant Henry Alley, who in 1858 leased a lot from William Colenso who had the previous year purchased a block which stretched from the Puketapu Hills to the Tutaekuri River and what is now known as Guppy Rd.

Mr Alley's move initiated subdivision and the establishment of a township he named Taradale, after the Hill of Tara, in his native County Meath, Ireland, less than 50km northwest of Dublin. About the same time, Henry Stokes Tiffen bought land he named Greenmeadows.


Separated from Napier by the large lagoon and mudflats known historically as Te Whanganui a Orotu, which stretched across to Scinde Island (today known as Hospital and Bluff hills), Taradale grew as an integral part of access to the inland from Napier, via what became known as Taradale Road, and Awatoto and Meeanee on the southern shores of the lagoon.

By the end of the 1870s it had two hotels, a general store, a bakery, three churches and a school, which opened in 1879.

From the 1874 establishment of the Napier Borough Council and the abolition of provincial government throughout New Zealand two years later, there was progressive establishment of local government throughout Hawke's Bay, the first stage of which became near complete after a petition signed by 94 of 113 householders in the Taradale area led to the establishment of the Town Board on December 2, 1886.

It was a part of Hawke's Bay County Council, which had been established in 1876, and 1886 also saw the establishment of the Hastings Borough Council.

The first chairman of the Taradale Town Board was John Drummond, others elected to the first board were Robert Davidson, Richard Martin, Richard Neagle and George Bradley, and the first town clerk was William Waterhouse.

The Hawke's Bay Earthquake in 1931 lifted much of the lagoon bed out of the water, bridging the divide between Napier and Taradale, including development over the next 40 years of Onekawa, Pirimai and Greenmeadows.

Taradale retained a staunch independence, leading to it becoming a borough in 1953. Grocer and Rotary Club president Fred Yeo became the first mayor, serving six years being replaced by Arthur Miller in 1959.

Mr Miller, who had been integral in the establishment of schools in the area, became the last mayor, - a referendum led to Taradale and Napier amalgamating on April 1, 1968, five days after the last meeting of the Taradale Borough Council and creating the 10th largest city in New Zealand.

Today, Taradale is represented on the Napier City Council as a ward, with two members, representing a population of about 17,000 of Napier's population of 57,240 (2013 Census).

The most notable landmarks in the area are now on the southern fringes, including the historic Otatara Pa site which was in 1971 designated an historic reserve, the EIT, which was established initially in 1975 as the Hawke's Bay Community College, and Pettigrew Green Arena, which opened in 2003.

At the northern entry to the Taradale town centre is the World War I memorial town clock, which has had a varied history including one night in 1967 when it struck 11pm 89 times before it jammed. It had jammed in the 1931 earthquake, and was in some circles reported to have stopped again during the earthquake early last Monday, although it is now working.