11 Facts About Waikato


Waikato is a local government region of the upper North Island of New Zealand.

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Name for the region is taken from the Waikato River; waikato is a Maori word traditionally translated as "flowing water" .

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When Waikato is used in spoken language it takes the definite article: the Waikato.

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Hamilton Waikato tourism takes in additionally the northern part of Waikato district, the northern King Country, and the Te Aroha district.

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The upper reaches of the Waikato River are used for hydroelectricity, helped by several large artificial lakes in the region's south-east.

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Waikato region has eight major freezing works: AFFCO at Horotiu, Greenlea at Hamilton and Morrinsville, Silver Fern Farms at Te Aroha and Waitoa, Te Kuiti Meat Processors and Universal Beef Packers at Te Kuiti, and Crusader Meats at Benneydale.

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The Waikato rohe was inhabited by iwi such as those of the Tainui confederation, including Waikato and Ngati Toa who conquered the native inhabitants about 1450 according to Tainui historians, finally destroying them at a battle at Aratiatia.

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In 1840 44 Waikato chiefs travelled north to the Manukau Heads and Manukau Harbour to sign the Treaty of Waitangi, officially making the Waikato area part of New Zealand.

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Waikato has a prominent history, particularly regarding relationships between Maori and European in early colonial New Zealand.

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The Waikato was within the defined boundaries of the colonial provinces of New Ulster and Auckland but was principally Maori.

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The Waikato had poor land access and was not suitable for sheep farming which dominated livestock production in New Zealand until the 1890s invention of refrigeration.

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