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Elsdon-Takapūwāhia – Porirua Central

About the profile areas

The 2013 population for Elsdon-Takapūwāhia – Porirua Central is 2,589, with a population density of 1.53 persons per hectare.

Location and boundaries

Elsdon-Takapūwāhia - Porirua Central is an area with a mix of residential, commercial, industrial, recreational and rural uses. It helps to make up the suburbs and localities of Elsdon, Takapūwāhia, Porirua City Centre, Kenepuru and Colonial Knob. The area is bounded by Tītahi Bay South in the north, Tītahi Bay Road, Wi Neera Drive, Porirua Harbour, Tītahi Bay Road and State Highway 1 in the east, Porirua Stream and northern suburbs of Wellington City in the south, and Cook Strait in the west.

Name origin

Elsdon was named after Elsdon Best, a noted local historian and writer. Takapūwāhia is named after a locality near Kawhia in Waikato from which Ngāti Toa iwi migrated in the 1800s. Porirua, the name of the City Centre and overall city is likely derived from 'Pari-rua', meaning 'the flowing of the two tides', referring to the two tidal estuary arms of Porirua Harbour (Onepoto Arm and Pāuatahanui Inlet). Kenepuru is named after Kenepuru Stream.

Settlement history

Early history of Porirua dates from at least 1450AD. Early settlers were Ngai Tara, Ngāti Ira and then from the 1820s by Ngāti Toa. European settlement dates from the 1840s, with land used mainly for farming and market gardening. Growth took place during the late 1800s and early 1900s, aided by the opening of the railway line and the establishment of the Porirua Lunatic Asylum (later known as Porirua Hospital). The most significant residential development occurred from the post-war years, spurred by substantial industrial development, with the most rapid growth from the 1950s to the 1970s.

The City Centre has had a long history from very early Māori settlements and then European settlement. In the 1950s, the Public Works Department reclaimed large areas of sea bed around the southern end of the Onepoto Arm of Porirua Harbour. This enabled significant educational and business development such as Whitireia Polytechnic and the MegaCentre retail; and recreational and leisure development with: Porirua Library (1990), Trust Porirua Aquatic Centre (1998), Pataka Museum of Arts and Cultures (1998) and Te Rauparaha Arena and Park (2008).

The original city centre around Cobham Court, bordered by Hagley Street, Lyttleton Avenue, the Railway station and North City Shopping Centre is being revitalised. Apart from the canopies, this area has remained largely unmodified since development in the 60’s and 70’s.

Land use

Elsdon is a mix of residential (private and state housing) and industrial. The suburb of Takapūwāhia is one of two significant historic Māori (Ngāti Toa) settlements and Māori-owned land in Porirua (the other being Hongoeka near Plimmerton). The suburb of Kenepuru is a mix of industrial, commercial and institutional with a small amount of residential. The locality of Colonial Knob is largely rural and is the main physical feature to the west of the city centre. Porirua City Centre is largely business, retail, manufacturing, education, leisure and recreation uses.

Major features

Major features of the area include the Porirua City Centre, North City Shopping Centre, North City Mega Centre, Todd Park Business Centre, Pataka Museum of Arts and Cultures, Te Rauparaha Arena, Arena Aquatic Centre, Porirua Hospital Museum, Kenepuru Community Hospital, Ole Football Academy, Institute of Environmental Science and Research (Kenepuru Science Centre), Reading Cinemas, Pirates Cove Adventure Golf, Strike Ten Pin Bowling, North City Raceway (go-karts), , Porirua Skate Park, Porirua Cemetery, Camp Elsdon, Whitireia Polytechnic (Porirua Campus), Te Wānanga o Aotearoa (Porirua Campus), Mana College (secondary), Bishop Viard College (secondary), Porirua School (primary), Mahinawa Specialist School, Wellington Seventh Day Adventist School, Takapūwāhia Marae, Whittaker’s chocolate factory, reserves, parks and walkways such as Te Rauparaha Park, Elsdon Park sports grounds complex and all-weather hockey turf, Colonial Knob Walkway, Spicer Landfill and Trash Palace Rercycling and Education Centre.

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