Bluff (Māori: Motupōhue), previously known as Campbelltown, is a town and seaport in the Southland region, on the southern coast of the South Island of New Zealand. It is the southern-most town in New Zealand (excluding Oban) and, despite Slope Point and Stewart Island being further to the south, is colloquially used to refer to the southern extremity of the country (particularly in the phrase “from Cape Reinga to The Bluff”). According to the 2006 census, the resident population was 1,850, a decrease of 85 since 2001.
The Bluff area was one of the earliest areas of New Zealand where a European presence became established. The first ship known to have entered the harbour was the Perseverance in 1813, in search of flax trading possibilities, with the first European settlers arriving in 1823 or 1824. This is the foundation for the claim that Bluff is the oldest permanent European settlement in the country. However, the missionary settlement at Kerikeri was both earlier and larger. The town was officially called Campbelltown in 1856, became a borough in 1878, and was renamed Bluff in 1917.
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