Hastings, “the Heart of Hawke’s Bay”, is an attractive commercial centre serving the Heretaunga Plains, a rural hinterland of fruit-growing and farmland, with upwards of 70 vineyards.
The name “Hastings” was adopted in 1873 when the notional Karamu Junction on the new railway was renamed. The railway route south from Napier opened in 1874. A syndicate known as the “Twelve apostles” had bought the land in 1870 from Thomas Tanner who in turn had leased the land from Maori in 1867. The town was constituted as a Town District in 1884 and incorporated as a borough in 1886. For more information see Mary Beatrice Boyd City of the Plains – A History of Hastings, Victoria University Press (1984), also available on Google Books]
The first Presbyterian service in the town was held by the Havelock North minister, Rev. William Nichol in the Hastings school in 1881. The Market Street Church was opened on 11th February 1883. A new parish of Hastings and Clive was created in October 1889.
The first Church was enlarged in 1894. A new church building on an adjacent site was opened on 30th September 1906, the old church being retained as Sunday School rooms. In 1935 the old church, now a hall, was removed to make room for a new St Andrew’s Hall. The second wooden church was demolished in 1979 and the present church opened on 9thAugust 1980.