Hokianga, Northland's West Coast, NEW ZEALAND
The Hokianga is the geographical area around the bizarrely shaped Hokianga Harbour situated on the West Coast of New Zealand. This harbour is surrounded by picturesquely rolling hills partly covered with natural bush, green pasture or some pine forestation.
|The biggest land area is used for agricultural purposes (beef, sheep, goat, milk production). In the last 15 years some pine plantations have sprung up and the tendency to replace animal produce with timber production is rapidly growing. The two big forests, the Omahuta Forest and the Waipoua Forest are natural reserves in which giant Kauris (trees), being up to a thousand years old, are still alive despite the heavy logging in the past.|
|The five villages named Horeke, Kohukohu, Omapere, Opononi and Rawene are built on the harbour's peaceful shoreline, protected from the rough temper of the Tasman Sea. A number of smaller settlements are hidden away in the hilly back land, except Broadwood being a larger center within the Hokianga.|
|The New Zealand Government has for decades neglected the proper support for this area. Many roads are not sealed and some people still live in poor housing conditions. Nevertheless it had the positive effect, that the natural beauty of the Hokianga has been vastly preserved. This is reflected in the relaxing tranquillity and stillness many are searching for. Hunting wild pigs and digging for shellfish on the beach is still a part of the cultural activity.|
|People in the Hokianga have a traditional right to free medicine. The
Hokianga Hospital in Rawene where surgery is no longer performed, is the center of the
local health trust and the 9 health clinics in the area are visited by a general
practitioner once or twice a week.
The total number of the population in the Hokianga is around 7'000. More then half of them are part Maori, descendants of the indigenous race. They call this wild place their home and so do some immigrants who have decided to settle in this remote part of New Zealand enjoying the many possibilities to create an alternative lifestyle.
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