Story: Hawke’s Bay places

Hastings Blossom Festival ‘riot’, 1960

Hastings Blossom Festival ‘riot’, 1960

The Hastings Blossom Festival of 1960 became famous for its so-called ‘riot’. The float parade had been cancelled because of wet weather. This, combined with an influx of young people in the city centre, overcrowding in hotels and overbearing crowd-control tactics (such as the use of fire-hoses) created a tense situation in which fights readily broke out. Moral panic in the wake of this incident inflated it in the popular imagination to a full-scale riot instigated by rebellious young people. In reality only a few people were actually fighting. Twelve were charged, but only with minor offences related to disorderly behaviour.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Dominion Post Collection (PAColl-7327)
Reference: EP/1960/3292

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Kerryn Pollock, 'Hawke’s Bay places - Hastings', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 6 December 2021)

Story by Kerryn Pollock, updated 30 Nov 2015