(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:182km²
See also:Upper Hutt, Lower Hutt, Wellington
Regional Council
Name:Greater Wellington

Porirua is a city in the Wellington Region of New Zealand, 20 km north of the city of Wellington. Since a large proportion of the population commute to Wellington, Porirua may be considered a satellite city of Wellington. The city completely surrounds Porirua Harbour at the southern end of the Kapiti Coast. The harbour is notable for its world-class estuarine values. The estimated population of Porirua is 50,000 (2004).


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. It was the name 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.

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.

Suburbs and featuresEdit

Suburbs include Ascot Park, Cannons Creek, Elsdon (named after writer Elsdon Best), Onepoto, Papakowhai, Paremata, Pauatahanui, Plimmerton, Pukerua Bay (where film-maker Peter Jackson grew up), Ranui Heights, Takapuwahia (a Ngāti Toa settlement), Titahi Bay (where pro golfer Michael Campbell grew up), Waitangirua, and Whitby. Rural localities include Judgeford and Horokiri. 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. While Porirua has a reputation outside its confines as an impoverished and somewhat undesirable area, it currently has the highest average per capita personal income of any New Zealand city, largely due to the affluence of many of its coastal suburbs.

Transport linksEdit

State Highway 1 passes north-south through the middle of the city, linking Porirua south to Wellington as well as to areas 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 to the Hutt Valley to the east.

The North Island Main Trunk Line passes through Porirua, mostly alongside State Highway 1. Suburban passenger rail services link Porirua to Wellington and to Paraparaumu to the north. A long distance rail services links Porirua to Auckland.

The closest main airport is Wellington Airport.

City administrative areaEdit

Local government in the area is shared 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 by popular vote from Hutt County. 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 a couple of proposals that the name be changed to "Mana" and several small movements for amalgamation with Wellington.

Councillors and other notable residentsEdit

Notable councillors of Porirua have included Whitford Brown (first Mayor); Ken Douglas (trade unionist); Ken Gray (former All Black); Garry 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 poet Alistair Campbell, golfer Michael Campbell, popstar Rob Arnold and singer/songwriter Ramon Te Wake.

External linksEdit

Template:Territorial Authorities of New Zealand Template:Capital Connection train stops Template:The Overlander train stops

Coordinates: Template:Coor dm

Smallwikipedialogo.png This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Porirua. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Governance Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.