Paekakariki is a town in the
District in the south-western North Island of New
Zealand. It is 22 km north of Porirua and 45 km
north-east of Wellington, the nation's capital
Paekakariki's population at the 2001 New Zealand
was 1731. The town's name in Māori
means "perching place of the
kakariki (green parrot)".
Paekakariki lies on a narrowing of the thin
coastal plain between the Tasman Sea and the Akatarawa Ranges (a spur of the Tararua Ranges) and was an important transportation node.
To the south, State
climbs towards Porirua; to the north the plains
extend inland from the Kapiti Coast
Paekakariki the highway and North Island Main Trunk
run close together between the coast and hills.
Immediately prior to European settlement the
area had a violent history, due mainly to the presence of the great
Māori warrior leader Te Rauparaha, whose pa was on nearby Kapiti Island.
Paekakariki Beach & Township
He died in 1849
same year that a road connecting Paekakariki with Porirua was
Paekakariki's history has been intimately linked with the railway
, and there is a museum at the railway
station commemorating this heritage. In 1886
and Manawatu Railway Company
's line from Wellington to Longburn
was completed, and Paekakariki became an
important stop on the journey. In 1908, the line was incorporated into the
national network of the New Zealand Railways
Department and became part of the North Island Main Trunk
linking Wellington and Auckland, the North
Island's most important line.
In 1917, NZR withdrew dining
cars from its passenger trains due to World
economic difficulties and Paekakariki became a main
refreshment stop on the trip north; originally a temporary measure,
the dining cars did not return for decades and Paekakariki's status
remained until the 1960s.
The locomotive depot gradually declined in importance due to
changing motive power, and nowadays only EM
class electric multiple
are stabled here. The old steam locomotive
depot is now the location
of "The Engine Shed", the base of Steam Incorporated
, one of New Zealand's
premier railway preservation societies. The Paekakariki Station Precinct
has been established to manage the station area,
including the museum and Steam Incorporated's depot, and firmly
establish it as a historical and tourist attraction.
A notable historic building is the former restaurant 'The 1906',
currently unoccupied, pending demolition to make way for a change
in the motorway.
- The town was immortalised as an almost mythical distant place
in the song "Paekakariki Beach" by British rock group New Model Army, written in 1999.
- The town also appeared in an animated documentary by the Simmonds Brothers, entitled: "Paekakariki:
Center of the Universe".
- The New Zealand rugby player Christian Cullen was named the "Paekakariki
Express" for his speed.
- Paekakariki was a camp site for U.S. Marines during World War
- The famous and historic Paekakariki Hotel, the town's only pub,
was demolished in 2005 to make way for an apartment building.
- Among the many musicians living in Paekakariki is Wayne Mason, who penned 'Nature', voted most
popular New Zealand pop song by a national jury of peers.
- The Complete NMA Lyrics Pages
- The camps - US Forces in New Zealand