Porirua

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Porirua is a city in New Zealand, 20 km north of Wellington. The city completely surrounds Porirua Harbour, part of which has world-class estuarine values. It is at the southern end of the Kapiti Coast, yet has considerable links with the Wellington urban area to the south-west, such as being included in "Wellington" for Met Service weather forecasts. The estimated population of Porirua in 2004 is 50,000.

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History

The name "Porirua" is of Maori 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 Port Nicholson) northwards to and around Porirua Harbour. A road climbing the hill from Kaiwharawhara towards Ngaio and Khandallah is still called "Old Porirua Road".

In the 19th century a small Maori settlement existed, and a small European village grew up, partly because of the need for a ferry across the harbour. Late in that century the Porirua Mental Hospital was erected on the hill south-west of the village.

Originally planned in the late 1940s to become a satellite city to 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 the Hutt County.

Suburbs and features

Suburbs include Ascot Park, Cannons Creek, Elsdon (named after writer Elsdon Best), Onepoto, Paremata, Pauatahanui, Plimmerton, Pukerua Bay (where film-maker Peter Jackson grew up), Ranui Heights, Takapuwahia (originally a Ngati Toa settlement), Titahi Bay, Waitangirua, and Whitby. Rural localities include Judgeford and Horokiri.

City administrative area

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) were transferred to the city (by popular vote) from Hutt County, and Mana Island, which had not been under county control, was added too. 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 into the 21st century despite a couple of proposals that the name be changed to "Mana" and several small movements for amalgamation with Wellington.

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 Ngati Toa iwi).

External links


mi:Porirua

Template:Territorial Authorities of New Zealand

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