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Manewatu


Nurse in New Zealand: Manawatu

Nurses will become aware that this is a region defined by two significant rivers The Whanganui River, in the region’s northwest, is the longest navigable river in New Zealand. The river was extremely important to early Māori as it was the southern link in a chain of waterways that spanned almost two-thirds of the North Island. Palmerston North is located on these plains, and is an important service city for the southern North Island as a whole.

To the southeast, a further, more sparsely populated area lies between the sources of the Manawatu River and the Pacific coast. This area, often historically connected with both the Hawke’s Bay Region to the north and the Wairarapa to the south, was historically simply known as Bush.

The Manawatu-Wanganui Region as a whole is one of the most important pastoral areas in New Zealand.

Much of the Manawatu-Wanganui Region was fertile and bush-covered when Europeans arrived and developed the area as a source of timber. Saw milling and flax milling dominated the 19th century, followed by an influx of sheep farmers who exploited the newly-cleared ground. Deforestation, burn-offs of timber and scrub and large scale drainage combined with overgrazing, resulted in considerable environmental degradation. In the early 1900s authorities realised that careful management was needed to maintain this important agricultural area