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Initial settlements in the region struggled: the climate was ill-suited to sheep farming and the geography was inaccessible, further hindered by a lack of infrastructure.
By the end of the century the population had started to dwindle.
Initially this stemmed from Tauranga iwi supporting the Waikato iwi in their conflict with the government.
In retaliation, British Crown and government-allied Māori forces attacked the Tauranga iwi, including at the famous Battle of Gate Pā in 1864.
The geographical bay is defined by 259 km of open coastline used for economic, recreational and cultural purposes.
The coastline from Waihi Beach in the west to Opape is defined as sandy coast, while the coast from Opape to Cape Runaway is rocky shore.
Further conflict with the government arose in 1865 when German missionary Carl Völkner and interpreter James Fulloon were killed by local Māori at Opotiki and Whakatane, respectively.
The Bay of Plenty Region is situated around this body of water, also incorporating several large islands in the bay.
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The Bay of Plenty (Māori: Te Moana-a-Toi) is a bight in the northern coast of New Zealand's North Island.
In 1989, Whakatane was selected as the seat for the regional council, as a compromise between the two dominant cities of Tauranga and Rotorua.
It extends along the eastern coast of the North Island, from the base of the Coromandel Peninsula in the west to Cape Runaway in the east.