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'''Hawera''' is the second-largest town in the [[
Hawera is [[Maori language|Maori]] for ''burnt place'', from fighting between two local sub-tribes, which culminated in the setting ablaze of the sleeping whare (house) of the tribe under attack. Because of differing oral traditions, translations such as ''"breath of fire"'' and ''"burning plains"'' have also been offered. The name became apt when the town suffered extensive blazes in 1884, 1888, and 1912. For this reason a large water tower was built in the centre of town to increase water pressure; and this became one of Taranaki's best-known landmarks (appearing, for example, on the cover of the 1974 telephone directory). After falling into disrepair the tower was closed to the public in 2001, but after an extensive restoration program it opened again in 2004.