Hastings, city in New Zealand, just inland of the eastern coast of North Island. The citylies close to Hawke Bay, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean, in the heart of a prosperous and productive region of market gardens, grape-growing, and other farming. Hawke Bay wines, for which Hastings is a major trading center, are internationally known for their quality.

hastings collage

In 1850 a French Catholic mission introduced vines for wine making to the area, and today the region has 17 major wineries. The city is also a center for food processing and packing. Hastings was established in 1864, designated a town in 1884, and named a city in 1956. A severe earthquake hit the area in 1931. Consequently, most of the buildings in Hastings date from the 1930s or later.

Situated on New Zealand’s east coast, toward the east of the Central Plateau and the downpour shadow of the Kaweka Ranges, the city is arranged on the prolific alluvial Heretaunga Plains. The fields were initially shrouded in bog and mangroves, however have since been depleted for agribusiness.

Hastings lies about 250 km north-east of the country’s capital Wellington (294 km by street) and 350 km south east of the biggest city, Auckland (429 km by street).