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Paihia - Opua - Haruru Falls

About the profile areas

The 2013 population for Paihia - Opua - Haruru Falls is 3,144, with a population density of 2.36 persons per hectare.

Location and boundaries

Paihia - Opua - Haruru Falls is bounded by the Bay of Islands and the locality of Russell in the north, the locality of Pokere-Waihaha, Waikare Inlet and the railway line in the east, and the locality of Waihou Valley-Hupara and State Highway 11 in the south and west.

Name origin

Paihia was thought to be named when Rev Henry Williams was selecting the locality for a Church Missionary Society mission station and he exclaimed in a mixture of Māori and English “Pai here!” which means “good here”. Opua is thought to be named from the Māori word “opuapua” meaning “place of wrapped food”.

Settlement history

European settlement dates from 1823 when missionaries first settled in Paihia, with the mission closing in 1850. Haruru Falls developed as a river port. Opua grew during the late 1800s, aided by the establishment of a wharf and the opening of the railway line. Growth took place during the early 1900s, particularly in Paihia. Considerable population growth occurred during the 1960s and early 1970s as tourism became popular and access to the area was improved. The population was relatively stable between 1996 and 2013, a result of some new dwellings being added to the area, but a decline in dwelling occupancy rates and the average number of persons living in each dwelling.

Land use

Paihia - Opua - Haruru Falls is a township area (mainly residential, with some commercial and industrial land use), with Opua being the main port in the Far North District. Tourism is also an important industry.

Major features

Major features of the area include Bay of Islands, Bay of Islands Maritime Park, Bay of Islands Marina (Port Opua), Opua Harbour, Paihia – Russell Ferry, numerous beaches, Bay of Islands Vintage Railway, Paihia Wharf, Haruru Falls, Flagstaff Hill, Lily Pond, Bledisloe Domain, English Bay Road Reserve, Falls View Rd Reserve, Lucy Elizabeth Williams Scenic Reserve, Paihia Village Green, Spinnaker Point Reserve, Walls Bay Esplanade Reserve, Opua Hall, Paihia War Memorial Hall and two schools.

Included areas

This area encompasses the localities (Census area units) of Haruru Falls, Opua East, Opua West and Paihia.

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