It is a small community with the main industry being the nearby papermill. There are a number of hot springs in the surrounding bush owned and operated by local families. Kawerau was one of many Bay of Plenty towns which suffered in the big earthquake in the late 1980s. It has maintained a fairly constant population despite its remote location.
The 820 metre volcanic cone of Mount Edgecumbe/Putauaki, three kilometres to the east of the town, is easily visible from the town.
The council's site (http://www.kaweraudc.govt.nz/)
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