It’s warm – 2,200 hours of sunshine each year. That’s streets ahead of most other New Zealand regions and only a smidgeon behind California. We have 350 kilometres of coastline – think swimming, surfing, fishing and sailing – and mountain ranges that shelter our fertile plains, which produce great food and wine in abundance. This all adds up to a region of alluring popularity with visiting New Zealanders and international tourists who also love our world renowned Art Deco architecture and the outstanding landscapes of Te Mata Peak and Cape Kidnappers, where you can play golf on cliff tops 140 metres above the ocean. The region is fast becoming New Zealand’s cycling capital, with about 200 kilometres of dedicated trails that meander around and between our twin cities of Hastings and Napier. A great region a mere five-and-a-bit hours’ drive from Auckland. OUR GREAT PEOPLE Hawke’s Bay’s population is 160,000 and we’re a happy, healthy and educated lot!Ngati Kahungunu has New Zealand’s third largest iwi population and is centred in Hawke’s Bay. We grow great people – such as industrialist/entrepreneur Sir James Wattie, space scientist Sir Ian Axford, painter Rita Angus, Olympic gold medal rowers Georgina and Caroline Evers-Swindell (now Earl and Meyer), and a pack of All Blacks. It is home for technology entrepreneur and CEO of software company Xero, Rod Drury. Creator of the legendary Toyota ‘Bugger’ advertising campaign, Kim Thorp, has a Hawke’s Bay home. Businessman, Sir Graeme Avery, came to Hawke’s Bay to establish Sileni Estates winery, former New Zealand Tourism Board chief and the man behind the ‘100% Pure’ tourism campaign, George Hickton, now chairs Hawke’s Bay Tourism. Successful business people, the Lowes, Hickson’s and Cushing’s, are proud Hawke’s Bay families. OUR GROWING ECONOMY Hawke’s Bay makes a solid contribution to New Zealand’s gross domestic product (GDP). The biggest contributors to our GDP come from commercial and community services, with horticulture and processing, manufacturing and pastoral farming being other big earners. Regional GDP in 2015 was $6.6 billion and we are experiencing positive economic growth. While agriculture, horticulture, viticulture, forestry cropping, manufacturing and industry support services are the backbone of the regional economy, tourism also plays a vital role. Sophisticated new technologies, which have been developed to support our traditional industries, are being exported around the world. The region is in a strong position to take advantage of future economic development.