The Pauanui airfield, with aircraft parked almost in the backyards of properties.
The town of Pauanui meaning the 'Place with Heavy Rains' (Pa-ua-nui) in Maori is on the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula in the North Island of New Zealand. Many people have made the mistake that Pauanui means 'Big Paua'. Divers searching for paua (abalone) off the waters around Pauanui invariably return without any paua of legal (125mm) size.
It lies at the mouth of the Tairua River on its south bank, directly opposite the larger town of Tairua. The population was 741 in the 2006 Census, an increase of 42 from 2001.
The two settlements are 30 kilometres east of Thames. Several islands lie off the mouth of the river, notably Slipper Island to the southeast and the Alderman Islands 20 kilometres to the East.
The area is a popular holiday destination, with an estimated summer holiday maker population of over 15,000, and is popularly imagined as a resort enclave for Auckland's upper classes - properties with views of the ocean are regularly sold for over NZ$1 million.
The settlement has an airstrip used by recreational light-aircraft pilots and is noted for game fishing, diving, surfing and its excellent beach.