Wanganui is an urban area and district on the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand. It is part of the Manawatu-Wanganui region.
Like several New Zealand centres, it was officially designated a city until administrative reorganisation in 1989, and is now run by a District Council. Despite this, it is still regarded as a city by most New Zealanders.
Whāngā nui means big bay or big harbour. Europeans called it Petre (pronounced Peter), after Lord Petre, an officer of the New Zealand Company, but the name did not persist.
Wanganui District Council resulted from amalgamation of Wanganui and Waitotara county councils and Wanganui City Council. The district has an area of 2373 km². Much of the land in Wanganui district is rough hill country surrounding the valley of the Whanganui River. A large proportion of this is within the Whanganui National Park.
All but some 4,500 people in the Wanganui district live in the city itself, meaning there are few prominent outlying settlements. A small but notable village is Jerusalem.
Wording courtesy of http://www.wikipedia.org/
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