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Otago
—  Region of New Zealand  —
Otago Region
Otago Region within New Zealand
Country New Zealand
Island South Island
Established 1848 (Dunedin settlement)
1852 (Otago Province)
1989 (Otago Region)
Seat Dunedin
Territorial authorities
Government
 - Chair Stephen Cairns
Area
 - Region 31,241 km2 (12,062.2 sq mi)
Population (June 2009 estimate)[1]
 - Region 205,400
 Density 6.6/km2 (17/sq mi)
Time zone NZST (UTC+12)
 - Summer (DST) NZDT (UTC+13)
Website www.otago.co.nz
www.orc.govt.nz

Otago (pronounced /ɵˈtɑːɡoʊ/, local pronunciation: [əˈtaːɡɐʉ]( listen)) is a region of New Zealand in the south of the South Island. It has an area of approximately 32,000 square kilometres (12,000 sq mi)[2] making it the country's second largest region. It has a population of 205,400 from the June 2009 estimate.[1]

The name "Otago" is an old southern Maori word whose North Island dialect equivalent is "Otakou", introduced to the south by Europeans in the 1840s.[3] "Otago" is also the old name of the European settlement on the Otago Harbour, established by the Weller Brothers in 1831.The place later became the focus of the Otago Association, an offshoot of the Free Church of Scotland, notable for its high-minded adoption of the principle that ordinary people, not the landowner, should choose the ministers.

Major centres of what is now the Otago Region of the old province include Dunedin (the principal city of the region), Oamaru (made famous by Janet Frame), Balclutha, Alexandra, and the major tourist centres Queenstown and Wanaka. Kaitangata in South Otago is a prominent source of coal. The Waitaki and Clutha rivers also provide much of the country's hydroelectric power. Some parts of the area originally covered by Otago Province are now administered as part of Southland Region (qv).

New Zealand's first university, The University of Otago, was founded in 1869 as the provincial university in Dunedin.

The Central Otago area produces award winning wines made from varieties such as the Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, and Riesling grapes. Central Otago has an increasing reputation as New Zealand’s leading pinot noir region.[4]

The region is administered by the Otago Regional Council.

Contents

History

The Otago settlement, an outgrowth of the Free Church of Scotland, materialised in March 1848 with the arrival of the first two immigrant ships from Greenock on the Firth of Clyde -- the John Wickliffe and the Philip Laing. Captain William Cargill, a veteran of the Peninsular War, was the secular leader: Otago citizens subsequently elected him to the office of provincial Superintendent after the provinces were created in 1852. The Otago Province was the whole of New Zealand from the Waitaki river south, including Stewart Island and the sub-antarctic islands. It included the territory of the later Southland province and also the much more extensive lands of the modern Southland Region.

Initial settlement was concentrated on the port and city, then expanded, notably to the south-west, where the fertile Taieri Plains offered good farmland. The 1860s saw rapid commercial expansion after Gabriel Read discovered gold at Gabriel's Gully near Lawrence, and the Central Otago goldrush ensued. Veterans of goldfields in California and Australia, plus many other fortune-seekers from Europe, North America and China, poured into the then Province of Otago, eroding its Scottish Presbyterian character. Further gold discoveries at Clyde and on the Arrow River round Arrowtown led to a boom, and Otago became for a period the cultural and economic centre of New Zealand. New Zealand's first daily newspaper, the Otago Daily Times, originally edited by Julius Vogel, dates from this period.

The Province of Southland separated from Otago Province and set up its own Provincial Council at Invercargill in 1861. After difficulties ensued, Otago re-absorbed it in 1870. Its territory is included in the southern region of the old Otago Province which is named after it and is now the territory of the Southland region.

The provincial governments were abolished in 1876 and replaced by other forms of local authority, including counties. Two in Otago were named after the Scottish independence heroes Wallace and Bruce.From this time the national limelight gradually shifted northwards.

Economy

The sub-national GDP of the Otago region was estimated at US$5.411 billion in 2003, 4% of New Zealand's national GDP.[5]

Geography

A map showing population density in the Otago Region at the 2006 census.
Flag of the Otago Regional Council.

Beginning in the west, the geography of Otago consists of high alpine mountains. The highest peak in Otago is Mount Aspiring/Tititea, which is on the Main Divide. From the high mountains the rivers discharge into large glacial lakes. In this part of Otago glacial activity - both recent and very old - dominates the landscape, with large 'U' shaped valleys and rivers which have high sediment loads. River flows also vary dramatically, with large flood flows occurring after heavy rain. Lakes Wakatipu, Wanaka and Hawea form the sources of the Clutha, the largest river (by discharge) in New Zealand. The Clutha flows through Otago and discharges near Balclutha.

Travelling east from the mountains, the Central Otago drylands predominate. These are dominated by the block mountains, upthrust schist mountains. In contrast to Canterbury, where the Northwest winds blow across the plains without interruption, in Otago the block mountains impede and dilute the effects of the Nor'wester.

The main Central Otago Centres, such as Alexandra and Cromwell, are found in the intermontane basins between the block mountains. The schist bedrock influence extends to the eastern part of Otago, where remnant volcanics mark its edge. The remains of the most spectacular of these are the Miocene volcanics centred on Otago Harbour. Elsewhere, basalt outcrops can be found along the coast and at other sites.

Climate

Weather conditions vary enormously across Otago, but can be broken into two broad types: the coastal climate of the coastal regions and the more continental climate of the interior.

Coastal regions of Otago are subject to the alternating warm and dry/cool and wet weather patterns common to the interannual Southern oscillation. This oscillation produces an irregular short cycle of weather which repeats roughly every week, with three or four days of fine weather followed by three or four days of cooler, damp conditions. Drier conditions are often the result of the northwesterly föhn wind, which dries as it crosses the Southern Alps. Wetter air is the result of approaching low-pressure systems which sweep fronts over the country from the southwest. A common variant in this pattern is the centring of a stationary low-pressure zone to the southeast of the country, resulting in long-lasting cool, wet conditions. These have been responsible for several notable historical floods, such as the "hundred year floods" of October 1878 and October 1978. Typically, winters are cool and wet. Snow can fall and settle to sea level in winter, especially in the hills and plains of South Otago. Summers, by contrast, tend to be warm and dry, with temperatures often reaching the mid to high 20s Celsius.

In Central Otago cold frosty winters are succeeded by hot dry summers. Central Otago's climate is the closest approximation to a continental climate anywhere in New Zealand. This climate is part of the reason why Otago is a successful wine-growing region. This inland region is one of the driest regions in the country, sheltered from prevailing rain-bearing weather conditions by the high mountains to the west and hills of the south. Summers can be hot, with temperatures often approaching or exceeding 30 degrees Celsius; winters, by contrast, are often bitterly cold - the township of Ophir in Central Otago holds the New Zealand record for lowest temperature with a reading of -21.6 °C on 3 July 1995.

Population

The population of Otago is 205,400, which is approximately 4.8 percent of New Zealand’s total population of 4.3 million. About 56.3 percent of the population resides in the Dunedin urban area — the region’s main city and the country’s sixth largest urban area. Unlike other southern centers, Dunedin’s population has not declined since the 1970s due to the presence of the University of Otago especially its medical school which attracts students from all over New Zealand and overseas.[6]

Other significant urban centers in Otago with populations over 1,000 include: Queenstown, Oamaru, Wanaka, Alexandra , Balclutha and Mosgiel. Between 1996 and 2006, the population of the Queenstown Lakes District grew by 60% due to the region’s booming tourism industry. [7]

Approximately 80% of the region’s population is of European lineage with the majority being of Scottish stock—the descendants of early Scottish settlers from the early 19th century. Maori comprise approximately 7% of the population with a large proportion being from the Ngāi Tahu iwi or tribe. Other significant ethnic minorities include Asians, Pacific Islanders, Africans, Latin Americans and Middle Easterners. [8]

Politics

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Representation

Otago is divided into three parliamentary electorates with the city of Dunedin comprising two of these. The Dunedin North electorate is held by Pete Hodgson while the Dunedin South electorate is occupied by Clare Curran. Both MPs are members of the opposition Labour Party while Dunedin has traditionally been a Labour stronghold.

Since 2008, the rest of Otago has been merged into the large rural electorate of Waitaki which also includes some of the neigbouring Canterbury Region. This electorate has traditionally been a National Party stronghold and is currently held by Jacqui Dean.

Administration

The seat of the Otago Regional Council is in Dunedin. There are five territorial authorities in the Otago region:

References

  1. ^ a b "Subnational Population Estimates: At 30 June 2009". Statistics New Zealand. 23 October 2009. http://www.stats.govt.nz/methods_and_services/access-data/tables/subnational-pop-estimates.aspx. Retrieved 2009-10-23. 
  2. ^ "About the Otago region". Otago Regional Council. http://www.orc.govt.nz/Portal.asp?nextscreenid=201.102.101.101&categoryid=29&sessionx=40992E79-04DA-4C7C-AD3E-898B26E6F896#size. 
  3. ^ Peter Entwisle, Behold the Moon: The European Occupation of the Dunedin District 1770-1848, Dunedin, NZ: Port Daniel Press, 1998 (ISBN 0-473-05591-0), appendix 1 pp.136-139.
  4. ^ "Central Otago wine success at home and abroad". 2006-11-11. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK0611/S00117.htm. Retrieved 2007-10-09. 
  5. ^ "Regional Gross Domestic Product". Statistics New Zealand. 2007. http://www.stats.govt.nz/reports/analytical-reports/regional-gross-domestic-product.aspx. Retrieved 18 February 2010. 
  6. ^ Mckinnon, Malcolm (17 August 2009). "Otago region: Population and employment since 1920". Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand. http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/otago-region/11. Retrieved 2010-02-18. 
  7. ^ Mckinnon, Malcolm (19 August 2009). "Otago region: Overview". Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand. http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/otago-region/1. Retrieved 2010-02-18. 
  8. ^ "QuickStats About Otago: Cultural Diversity". Statistics New Zealand. http://www.stats.govt.nz/Census/2006CensusHomePage/QuickStats/AboutAPlace/SnapShot.aspx?type=region&ParentID=1000001&tab=Culturaldiversity&id=1000014. Retrieved 2010-02-18. 

External links


Otago Regional Council
Country: New Zealand
Regional Council
Name:Otago Regional Council
Chair:Stephen Cairns[1]
Population:203,500 (June 2008 estimate) [2]
Land Area:31,241 km²
Website:www.orc.govt.nz
Cities and Towns
Cities:Dunedin
Towns:Alexandra, Balclutha, Brighton, Cromwell, Ettrick,Frankton, Kaitangata, Lawrence, Middlemarch, Milton, Moeraki, Mosgiel, Oamaru, Omarama, Palmerston, Queenstown, Ranfurly, Roxburgh, Waikouaiti, Wanaka
Constituent Territorial Authorities
Names:Dunedin City
Central Otago District
Clutha District
Queenstown Lakes District
Waitaki District (part)
Websites:www.otago.co.nz
www.dunedin.govt.nz
www.qldc.govt.nz

Coordinates: 45°26′S 169°50′E / 45.433°S 169.833°E / -45.433; 169.833

Otago (pronounced /ətɑːɡoʊ/, local pronunciation: [ətaːɡɐʉ]( listen)) is a region of New Zealand in the south of the South Island. It has an area of approximately 32,000 square kilometres (12,000 sq mi)[3] making it the country's second largest region. It has a population of 203,500 from the June 2008 estimate.[2]

The name "Otago" is an old southern Maori word whose North Island dialect equivalent is "Otakou", introduced to the south by Europeans in the 1840s.[4] "Otago" is also the old name of the European settlement on the Otago Harbour, established by the Weller Brothers in 1831.The place later became the focus of the Otago Association, an offshoot of the Free Church of Scotland, notable for its high-minded adoption of the principle that ordinary people should choose their ministers, not the landowner.

Major centres of what is now the Otago Region of the old province include Dunedin (the principal city of the region), Oamaru (made famous by Janet Frame), Balclutha, Alexandra, and the major tourist centres Queenstown and Wanaka. Kaitangata in South Otago is a prominent source of coal. The Waitaki and Clutha rivers also provide much of the country's hydroelectric power. Some parts of the area originally covered by Otago Province are now administered as part of Southland Region (qv).

New Zealand's first university, The University of Otago, was founded in 1869 as the provincial university in Dunedin.

The Central Otago area produces award winning wines made from varieties such as the Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, and Riesling grapes. Central Otago has an increasing reputation as New Zealand’s leading pinot noir region.[5]

The region is administered by the Otago Regional Council.

Contents

History

The Otago Settlement, an outgrowth of the Free Church of Scotland, materialised in March 1848 with the arrival of the first two immigrant ships from Greenock on the Firth of Clyde -- the John Wickliffe and the Philip Laing. Captain William Cargill, a veteran of the Peninsular War, was the secular leader: Otago citizens subsequently elected him to the office of provincial Superintendent after the provinces were created in 1852. The Otago Province was the whole of New Zealand from the Waitaki river south, including Stewart Island and the sub-antarctic islands. It included the territory of the later Southland province and also the much more extensive lands of the modern Southland Region.

Initial settlement was concentrated on the port and city, then expanded, notably to the south-west, where the fertile Taieri Plains offered good farmland. The 1860s saw rapid commercial expansion after Gabriel Read discovered gold at Gabriel's Gully near Lawrence, and the Central Otago goldrush ensued. Veterans of goldfields in California and Australia, plus many other fortune-seekers from Europe, North America and China, poured into the then Province of Otago, eroding its Scottish Presbyterian character. Further gold discoveries at Clyde and on the Arrow River round Arrowtown led to a boom, and Otago became for a period the cultural and economic centre of New Zealand. New Zealand's first daily newspaper, the Otago Daily Times, originally edited by Julius Vogel, dates from this period.

The Province of Southland separated from Otago Province and set up its own Provincial Council at Invercargill in 1861. After difficulties ensued, Otago re-absorbed it in 1870. Its territory is included in the southern region of the old Otago Province which is named after it and is now the territory of the Southland region.

The provincial governments were abolished in 1876 and replaced by other forms of local authority, including counties. Two in Otago were named after the Scottish independence heroes Wallace and Bruce.From this time the national limelight gradually shifted northwards.

Geography

Beginning in the west, the geography of Otago consists of high alpine mountains. The highest peak in Otago is Mount Aspiring, which is on the Main Divide. From the high mountains the rivers discharge into large glacial lakes. In this part of Otago glacial activity - both recent and very old - dominates the landscape, with large 'U' shaped valleys and rivers which have high sediment loads. River flows also vary dramatically, with large flood flows occurring after heavy rain. Lakes Wakatipu, Wanaka and Hawea form the sources of the Clutha, the largest river (by discharge) in New Zealand. The Clutha flows through Otago and discharges near Balclutha.

Travelling east from the mountains, the Central Otago drylands predominate. These are dominated by the block mountains, upthrust schist mountains. In contrast to Canterbury, where the Northwest winds blow across the plains without interruption, in Otago the block mountains impede and dilute the effects of the Nor'wester.

The main Central Otago Centres, such as Alexandra and Cromwell, are found in the intermontane basins between the block mountains. The schist bedrock influence extends to the eastern part of Otago, where remnant volcanics mark its edge. The remains of the most spectacular of these are the Miocene volcanics centred on Otago Harbour. Elsewhere, basalt outcrops can be found along the coast and at other sites.

Climate

Weather conditions vary enormously across Otago, but can be broken into two broad types: the coastal climate of the coastal regions and the more continental climate of the interior.

Coastal regions of Otago are subject to the alternating warm and dry/cool and wet weather patterns common to the interannual Southern oscillation. This oscillation produces an irregular short cycle of weather which repeats roughly every week, with three or four days of fine weather followed by three or four days of cooler, damp conditions. Drier conditions are often the result of the northwesterly föhn wind, which dries as it crosses the Southern Alps. Wetter air is the result of approaching low-pressure systems which sweep fronts over the country from the southwest. A common variant in this pattern is the centring of a stationary low-pressure zone to the southeast of the country, resulting in long-lasting cool, wet conditions. These have been responsible for several notable historical floods, such as the "hundred year floods" of October 1878 and October 1978. Typically, winters are cool and wet. Snow can fall and settle to sea level in winter, especially in the hills and plains of South Otago. Summers, by contrast, tend to be warm and dry, with temperatures often reaching the mid to high 20s Celsius.

In Central Otago cold frosty winters are succeeded by hot dry summers. Central Otago's climate is the closest approximation to a continental climate anywhere in New Zealand. This climate is part of the reason why Otago is a successful wine-growing region. This inland region is one of the driest regions in the country, sheltered from prevailing rain-bearing weather conditions by the high mountains to the west and hills of the south. Summers can be hot, with temperatures often approaching or exceeding 30 degrees Celsius; winters, by contrast, are often bitterly cold - the township of Ophir in Central Otago holds the New Zealand record for lowest temperature with a reading of -21.6 °C on 3 July 1995.

References

  1. ^ "Councillors". ORC website. http://www.orc.govt.nz/portal.asp?categoryid=30. Retrieved on 2007-10-09. 
  2. ^ a b "Subnational Population Estimates: At 30 June 2008". Statistics New Zealand. 23 October 2008. http://www.stats.govt.nz/NR/rdonlyres/A886F4B5-9477-4DE8-84E7-3CFEA89D673E/39402/snpeat30jun08alltablesprov1.xls. Retrieved on 2008-10-28. 
  3. ^ "About the Otago region". Otago Regional Council. http://www.orc.govt.nz/Portal.asp?nextscreenid=201.102.101.101&categoryid=29&sessionx=40992E79-04DA-4C7C-AD3E-898B26E6F896#size. 
  4. ^ Peter Entwisle, Behold the Moon: The European Occupation of the Dunedin District 1770-1848, Dunedin, NZ: Port Daniel Press, 1998 (ISBN 0-473-05591-0), appendix 1 pp.136-139.
  5. ^ "Central Otago wine success at home and abroad". 2006-11-11. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK0611/S00117.htm. Retrieved on 2007-10-09. 

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Otago is one of the original 6 provinces of New Zealand. Its hilly country and sheltered valleys gives the province a variety of climates and some spectacular scenery.

Understand

The name Otago is an anglicisation of the Maori placename Otakou as heard in the local dialect. Otakou means red earth.

  • The Southern Lakes.
  • The Mountains.
  • The Rivers.
  • The tiny towns and villages, some now abandoned.
    • The stone architecture of many of the pioneers' structures.
    • Abandoned goldfields
  • Moeraki Boulders - peculiar round rocks on the beach near the fishing settlement of Moeraki, about halfway between Oamaru and Dunedin, about 20 km north of Palmerston.
  • Goldpanning
  • Skiing
  • Adventure tourism

Eat

Moeraki Restaurant & Bar - touristy cafe at the stairs to the beach to the Moeraki Boulders. Good view of sea.

Fluer's Place - located in the Moeraki village away from SH1. Fresh seafood.

Fish Inn, in Waikouiti - fish & chips shop on SH1. Good fish in light fluffy batter.

  • Evansdale Cheese Factory (Waikouaiti), Hawksbury Village State Highway 1 (Watch for the signs.), 4658 101, [1]. 10 --4. A small cheese factory with a shop where you can sample and buy cheese. Open 7 days.  edit

Stay safe

Unlike the more northerly parts of New Zealand, Otago often gets snow in winter. Many of the roads become icy in winter, so chains should be carried and used when called for.

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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

English

Proper noun

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Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia

Singular
Otago

Plural
-

Otago

  1. A Region in the South Island of New Zealand
A map of New Zealand showing the location of Otago

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