Wairoa DistrictCommunity profile
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About the profile areas

The 2018 population for Whakaki is 678, with a population density of 0.04 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

Wairoa is bounded by the locality of Whakaki in the north, Marine Parade and Kopu Road in the east, the locality of Raupunga in the south and south-west, and the Wairoa River, Tirohia Lane and Tipoki Road in the west.

Name origin

Wairoa is named after the Wairoa River, which is named from a Māori word meaning 'long water'.

Profile areas

Settlement history

Settlement of the area dates from the 1830s when a trading and whaling station were established. Population was minimal until the 1850s when Wairoa developed a sea trade with the nearby township of Napier in flax, fruit and timber, and land was leased for sheep and cattle grazing. The first crown purchase of land took place in 1865, including the town site. During the mid 1860s the town rose to prominence, when it was a garrison town/military base. Growth took place during the late 1800s and early 1900s. The river port declined in the late 1930s when the railway was opened. Gradual growth occurred from the post-war years till the late 1960s. Gradual population decline took place from the 1980s. The population continued to decline slightly between 1996 and 2013, a result of little change in dwelling stock and a decline in the average number of persons living in each dwelling.

Land use

Wairoa is a township area, including residential, commercial and industrial land use. Wairoa is the largest settlement in the Wairoa District Council area.

Major features

Major features of the area include the township of Wairoa, Alexandra Park, Clyde Domain, Lambton Square, Standring Park, War Memorial Park, Portland Lighthouse, Wairoa Hospital and Health Centre, Wairoa Museum, Wairoa Memorial Hall, Gaeity Theatre, Wairoa Community Centre, Wairoa Cemetery, the Wairoa River and numerous schools.