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Porirua City

About the profile areas

The 2018 population for Porirua City is 56,559, with a population density of 3.24 persons per hectare.


Note: This page displays the area boundaries used for the 2018 Census. In some cases, these are significantly different to the pre-2018 areas. For more on this, see the Census 2018 page.

Location and boundaries

Porirua City is located at the southern end of the North Island, about 25 kilometres north of the Wellington CBD. Porirua City is bounded by the Kāpiti Coast District Council area in the north, Upper Hutt City in the east, Hutt City in the south-east, Wellington City in the south, and the Tasman Sea in the west.

Name origin

Porirua City is thought to be named from the Māori word 'Pari-rua', meaning 'two tides', referring to the two arms of the Porirua Harbour.

Profile areas
Porirua City

Settlement history

European settlement dates from around the 1820s, with initial industries being whaling and trading. From the late 1830s land was used for sheep grazing, with some timber and ship building industries on the south-western shore of Porirua Harbour. Population was minimal until the 1840s when land was opened up. The North Island main trunk railway line opened in 1885, linking the area with Wellington, by which time farming was the main land use. Significant residential development occurred post-war years and there was rapid growth during the 1960s and early 1970s. Porirua achieved city status in 1965.

In the 1960s and 1970s substantial industrial areas were established, generally west of the city centre and in Elsdon and Kenepuru. The population of the City increased from about 16,000 in 1961 to 42,000 in 1981, then to nearly 46,000 in 1986. Growth then slowed, reaching nearly 47,000 people in 1996, with minimal change to 2001. Growth resumed from 2001, with the population rising to nearly 52,000 people in 2013. Growth is expected to continue for example with the further development of the southern part of Aotea.

Land use

Porirua City features both urban and rural areas, with urban areas in numerous villages. Most of the populated areas of the City are coastal, located around the Porirua Harbour or the Tasman Sea. Rural land is used largely for agriculture. Porirua City encompasses a total land area of about 180 square kilometres.


The City is served by State Highway 1, State Highway 58, the Johnsonville-Porirua Motorway and the North Island main trunk railway.

Major features

Major features of the City include the Porirua City Centre, North City Shopping Centre, North City MegaCentre, Te Rauparaha Arena (including Arena Aquatic Centre), New Zealand Police Museum, Pataka Museum of Arts and Cultures, Porirua Hospital Museum, Porirua Harbour, Whitby Lakes, Aotea Lagoon, Mana Island, part of Belmont Regional Park, Royal New Zealand Police College, Whitireia Polytechnic (Porirua Campus) and various beaches.

Indigenous background

The original inhabitants of the Porirua area were the Māori people.

Included areas

Porirua City includes the suburbs and localities of Adventure, Aotea, Ascot Park, Cannons Creek East, Cannons Creek North, Cannons Creek South, Discovery, Elsdon-Takapuwahai, Endeavour, Inlet-Porirua Harbour, Mana-Camborne, Mana Island, Onepoto, Paekakariki Hill, Papakowhai, Paremata, Pauatahanui, Plimmerton, Porirua Central, Porirua East, Postgate, Pukerua Bay, Ranui Heights, Resolution, Titahi Bay North, Titahi Bay South and Waitangirua.