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Porirua

Porirua

Porirua
Population: 48,546
(urban)
48,546
(territorial)
(2006 Census)
Urban Area
Extent: N to
Pukerua Bay
NE to Akatarawa Valley; W to Tasman Sea, Titahi Bay; E to Pauatahanui
Territorial Authority
Name: Porirua City
Mayor: Jenny Brash
Extent: N to
Pukerua Bay
NE to Akatarawa Valley; W to Tasman Sea, Titahi Bay; E to Pauatahanui
Land Area: 182.39 km² (70.42 sq mi)
Website: http://www.pcc.govt.nz
See also: Upper Hutt, Lower Hutt, Wellington
Regional Council
Name: Greater Wellington
Website: http://www.gw.govt.nz

Porirua is a city in the Wellington Region of New Zealand, 20 km north of the city of Wellington. A large proportion of the population commutes to Wellington, so it may be considered a satellite city. It almost completely surrounds Porirua Harbour at the southern end of the Kapiti Coast. The harbour is notable for its world-class estuarine values. The population at the 2006 census was 48,546 inhabitants.

History

The name "Porirua" is of Māori origin. It is possibly a variant of "Pari-rua" ("two tides"), a reference to the two arms of the Porirua Harbour. The name was given in the 19th century to a land registration district that stretched from Kaiwharawhara (or "Kaiwarra") on the north-west shore of Wellington Harbour northwards to and around Porirua Harbour. The road climbing the hill from Kaiwharawhara towards Ngaio and Khandallah is still called "Old Porirua Road".

In the 19th century a small European settlement grew up, partly because of the need for a ferry across the harbour. At the time a small Māori settlement already existed.

The Wellington and Manawatu Railway Company opened a railway line to Porirua in 1885, linking the city with Wellington. The railway eventually reached Longburn in 1886, south of Palmerston North, to connect with the Government's lines to the Wairarapa, Taranaki and Napier. With the acquisition of the company by the government in 1908, the line to Porirua formed part of the North Island Main Trunk railway. Services to Porirua were electrified following the construction of the Tawa Flat deviation in the 1940s.

In the 1880s and 1890s the Porirua Lunatic Asylum was established on the hill south-west of the village. Following the Mental Defectives Act of 1911 the Asylum became Porirua Mental Hospital.

Originally planned in the late 1940s to become a satellite city of Wellington with state housing, Porirua has grown to a city population approaching 55,000. Major territorial additions to the city were made in 1973 and 1988 as part of the reduction and eventual abolition of Hutt County.

In 1976 the first McDonald's restaurant in New Zealand opened in the City Centre, it is still operating on the same site today.

Suburbs and features

Suburbs include:

Rural localities include Judgeford and Horokiri.

Porirua is largely formed around the arms of the Porirua Harbour and the coastline facing out to cook strait and the northernmost parts of the South Island and most of the populated areas of Porirua are coastal. The suburbs of Camborne, Karehana Bay, Mana, Onepoto, Paremata, Pauatahanui, Plimmerton, Pukerua Bay, Takapuwahia, Titahi Bay and Whitby all have direct access to coastal parks and recreation reserves. Several suburbs without direct coastal access, including Aotea, Ascot Park, Elsdon, Papakowhai and Ranui Heights, still have substantial outlook over the harbour.

Watersports, fishing and other boating activities are popular in the area which is well served by a large marina in Mana along with Sea Scouts, yachting, power-boating and water-skiing clubs. The harbour entrance from Plimmerton or Mana is popular with experienced windsurfers and kitesurfers while beginners find the shallow enclosed waters of the Pauatahanui arm of the harbour a forgiving environment in which to develop their skills. Aotea Lagoon is a popular recreational area on the eastern shore of Porirua Harbour.

Porirua is the home of the Royal New Zealand Police College, where all police recruits receive some 19 weeks' training.

Porirua is home to Northern United RFC and Paremata-Plimmerton RFC, two clubs playing in the Wellington Rugby Football Union club rugby competition.

Transport links

State Highway 1 passes north-south through the middle of the city, linking Porirua south to Wellington and to the north. Porirua is the northern terminus of the Johnsonville-Porirua motorway (opened progressively from 1950), which forms part of State Highway 1. State Highway 58 links Porirua via Haywards with the Hutt Valley to the east.

The North Island Main Trunk railway line passes through Porirua, mostly alongside State Highway 1. Suburban passenger trains run to Wellington and Paraparaumu and the Overlander long-distance train between Auckland and Wellington calls southbound but not northbound.

The nearest airports are Wellington Airport to the south (the closest), and Paraparaumu Airport to the north.

City administrative area

The area is administered by Porirua City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council. The name Porirua was first applied to a local government unit in 1961 when Makara County, to the west of Wellington, was abolished, the mostly rural western part becoming the Makara Ward of Hutt County and the rapidly growing eastern urban portion becoming the Borough of Porirua. Four years later the population was officially estimated at over the 20,000 threshold then necessary for Porirua to be declared a city.

On 1 April 1973 large areas to the north-east (and a few elsewhere) and Mana Island were transferred to the city from Hutt County by popular vote. In 1988 a further addition was the Horokiri riding of the about-to-be-abolished county, containing most of the new Whitby suburb and substantial rural areas.

The city and its council have remained unchanged into the 21st century despite proposals to change the name to "Mana" and several small movements for amalgamation with Wellington.

Councillors and other notable residents

Notable councillors of Porirua have included Whitford Brown (first Mayor); Ken Douglas (trade unionist); Ken Gray (former All Black); Gary McCormick (media personality); Helen Smith (the first member of the Values Party to be elected to local government); and Tutu Wineera (a kaumatua of the Ngāti Toa iwi).

Other prominent residents have included film maker Peter Jackson, All Black Rodney So'oialo, former All Black Jerry Collins, musician Matt Chicoine (aka Recloose), poet Alistair Campbell, golfer Michael Campbell, popstar Rob Arnold and singer/songwriter Ramon Te Wake.

Sister Cities

References

External links

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