Gisborne, is the most easterly city in New Zealand. It is near here that the waka Horouta landed in early Maori times and James Cook first sighted New Zealand a short distance to the south.
European settlement was established in 1831 and Gisborne became a borough in 1877 and a city in 1955. Today's population is around the 33,000 mark for the city and environs and a total of 45,000 for the East Coast Region. The Poverty Bay Flats contain 20,200ha of rich alluvial river flats, which combined with the mild temperature, make this district an ideal area for the growing of grapes and maize, kiwifruit, citrus and other subtropical fruits.