Napier city is where it’s at. Creative, vibrant and constantly surprising; our city is full of bustling business, inspiring producers and motivated makers, thinkers and innovators. Napier City Business Inc. celebrates our business community and supports our central business district to thrive.

Welcome to Napier!

A unique and interesting city located on the East Coast of Aotearoa New Zealand’s North Island, set amid the famous wine-producing region of the Hawke’s Bay. Napier is internationally renowned for Art Deco architecture and temperate climate – affectionately labelled the ‘Mediterranean of the South’.  

Napier city runs south from Bluff Hill | Mataruahou, along the coast and inland towards Hastings. The central business district (CBD) is close to the Marine Parade foreshore reserve and gardens – home to our Annual Art Deco Festival, skate park, playgrounds, National Aquarium, cycle & walkway, basketball court, bbq areas and home to regular events and celebrations. The CBD is a bustling place, filled with many boutique fashion stores, galleries, restaurants and bars. Napier is proudly flanked by the suburbs of; Taradale, Ahuriri, Marewa, Westshore and Bayview.


The History of Napier

Ngāti Kahungunu are the tangata whenua of the area, their territory is divided into three districts: Wairoa, Heretaunga (the district that includes Napier) and Wairarapa. Ngāti Kahungunu has the second largest tribal rohe in the country, from the Wharerata Ranges in the Wairoa District extending to the Remutaka Range in South Wairarapa. The coastal boundaries are Paritū in the North to Tūrakirae in the South. 

The tribe originates from the Tākitimu canoe which sailed from Hawaiki by Tamatea Arikinui. His son Rongokako married Muriwhenua and they had a son – Tamatea Ure Haea (the great explorer). Tamatea Ure Haea’s son Kahungunu was born at Kaitāia. He was said to be an energetic and talented leader who built villages and irrigated the land. Travelling south, he fathered many children, whose descendants eventually became known as Ngāti Kahungunu.

Captain James Cook and the crew of the HMS Endeavor were said to have seen the Hawke’s Bay in October 1769. They did not land, believing the Maori were hostile, but named the Bay after Sir Edward Hawke – First Lord of the Admiralty. For more than fifty years after Cook’s visit, no known Europeans visited the Hawke’s Bay. It wasn’t until 1830 that permanent European settlement began to appear in Hawke’s Bay. 

Founded in 1855, Napier (formerly known as Ahuriri) is Hawke’s Bay’s oldest town. Initially, it was said to be ‘a hopeless spot for a town site’, prone to flooding and with limited Road access to the ‘mainland’. However, it was an ideal location for a port, which was why Napier became the leading town of the region. 

Lack of land continued to slow progress until the 1931 Hawke’s Bay earthquake, which significantly elevated the inner harbour providing much of the space required to develop the city you see today. 



Latest Census Statistics

In the 2018 Census Napier City had a population of 62,241 (current estimates – 66,700). In 2018, there were 29,766 males and 32,478 females, giving a sex ratio of 0.92 males per female. The median age was 42 years (compared with 37.4 years nationally), with 19.8% aged under 15 years, 17.3% aged 15 to 29, 42.9% aged 30 to 64, and 20.0% aged 65 or older.

Ethnicities were 81.2% European/Pākehā, 22.2% Māori, 3.4% Pacific peoples, 5.0% Asian, and 1.9% other ethnicities (totals add to more than 100% since people could identify with multiple ethnicities).

The proportion of people born overseas was 16.3%, compared with 27.1% nationally.

52.3% had no religion, 34.3% were Christian, 0.6% were Hindu, 0.3% were Muslim, 0.7% were Buddhist and 4.6% had other religions.

Of those at least 15 years old, 17.3% of people had a bachelor or higher degree, and 20.3% of people had no formal qualifications. The median income was $28,900, compared with $31,800 nationally. The employment status of those at least 15 was that 47.1% people were employed full-time, 14.9% were part-time, and 3.5% were unemployed. 

For more information on the history of Napier and the surrounding region, please visit MTG Hawke’s Bay Tai Ahuriri Museum at 1 Tennyson Street, Napier.



Innovate Napier

By   Pip   –  September 22 / 2020
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Napier CBD Runway & Market Day

By   Arlene Crispin   –  March 21 / 2024

By   Pip   –  February 28 / 2024
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Empowering Local Businesses: Innovate Napier Returns in 2024

By   Pip   –  February 21 / 2024
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NCBI Supports Businesses in Art Deco Festival

By   Arlene Crispin   –  February 13 / 2024
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Bringing LOVE to Napier City on Cyclone Gabrielle Anniversary

By   Arlene Crispin   –  February 12 / 2024

Gift Guide: Valentine’s Day 2024

By   Arlene Crispin   –  February 8 / 2024

Winners of the Napier CBD Star Awards 2023

By   Arlene Crispin   –  November 16 / 2023

Meet the finalists: Napier CBD Star Awards 2023

By   Arlene Crispin   –  November 8 / 2023

CBD Star Awards 2023 Nominations

By   Pip   –  November 1 / 2023

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