Hastings is one of two cities that make up the Hawkes Bay. The other being Napier, only 20k distant. These two communities are fiercely competitive, that for the most part is healthy for the region. Over time a joining of the cities will take place. Both cities were rocked by the 1931 earthquake.
The Urban Area of Hastings in 65,000 people which includes the surrounding Heretaunga Plains from Clive to the Bridge.
But given Hastings was not leveled to the degree Napier was affected, Hastings has an ‘older’ character to that of Napier.
Vineyards for which the Hawkes Bay in renown and fruit growing were the first industries for Hastings. With around six hundred people, the town was incorporated as a borough on 20 October 1886.
Since the turn of the new century has seen businesses returning, and once abandoned shops of Hastings City being replaced with new bars, cafés, restaurants and shops. Hastings District Council has been exploiting the boom, promoting tourism around its thriving and accessible shopping district, and commissioning new works of art, sculptures and public buildings, including the new Hawke's Bay opera house.
The Hastings War Memorial is located at the Town Hall
Hastings is the mature older brother, and this reflected in how the community sees itself. Also Hastings has Havelock Nth as a part of its constituency.