Before the 1931 Hawke's Bay earthquake, Taradale and Greenmeadows were separated from distant Napier by a harbour lagoon and tidal mudflats, bridged from 1874 by the corduroy Taradale Road. Other access was by the coastal sandpits road to Awatoto, then to Meeanee village and the Great North Road (Meeanee Road). These barriers forced Taradale's township and pioneer farming settlers to develop staunch independence, setting up their own facilities, businesses and recreational resources. Many of the elements of this historic heritage remain today; as well as the geographical boundaries, Anderson Park and green patches on the edge of Greenmeadows are visual boundaries that separates Taradale and Greenmeadows from the rest of Napier City.
As a consequence of the 1931 earthquake, the raised seabed enabled Napier's residential suburbs to spread slowly south towards Taradale and Greenmeadows as swamps were reclaimed. Buildings destroyed by the earthquake were rebuilt in Art Deco style architecture, examples being the Taradale Town Hall and Taradale Hotel, now Taradale’s McDonald's restaurant).
Taradale in the 1960s was one of the fastest-growing boroughs in New Zealand. Retailers considered it a good place to establish shops with rapidly expanding population. People took pride in their property and Taradale became known as the Garden Borough.
Taradale has continued to expand and develop, with a current growth rate of 6.7%, well above the Hawke's Bay regional growth rate and that of Napier. As new subdivisions meet the increased demand for middle to high-end residential property, there are several new subdivision developments underway in Mission Heights, Citrus Grove and Kent Terrace with over 1400 residential sections in progress.