New Plymouth is the major city of the Taranaki Region on the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand. It is named after the English city of Plymouth from where the first English settlers migrated. The New Plymouth District includes New Plymouth City and several smaller towns. The New Plymouth District is the 10th largest district (out of 67) in New Zealand, and has 1.7 percent of New Zealand's population. The district has a population of 74,184 – about two-thirds of the total population of the Taranaki Region. This includes New Plymouth City (56,800), Waitara (6,483), Inglewood (3,380), Oakura (1,359), Okato (561) and Urenui (429).
The city itself is a service centre for the region's principal economic activities including intensive pastoral activities (mainly dairy farming) as well as oil, natural gas and petrochemical exploration and production. It is also the region's financial centre as the home of the TSB Bank (formerly the Taranaki Savings Bank), the largest of the remaining non-government New Zealand-owned banks.
Notable features are the botanic gardens (i.e. Pukekura Park), the critically acclaimed Len Lye Centre and Art Gallery, the 11 km (6.8 mi) Coastal Walkway alongside the Tasman Sea, the Len Lye-designed 45-metre-tall (148 ft) artwork known as the Wind Wand, Paritutu Rock, and views of Mount Taranaki/Egmont.
As described under awards, New Plymouth won multiple awards in 2008. The city was in 2010 chosen as one of two walking & cycling "Model Communities" by the government. Based on New Plymouth's already positive attitude towards cyclists and pedestrians, the city received $3.71m to invest into infrastructure and community programs to boost walking and cycling.
It is also noted for being a coastal city with a mountain within 30 minutes drive, where residents and visitors to New Plymouth can snowboard, ski, water ski and surf all in the same day.