A view of Wainuiomata as seen from above Sunny Grove looking North.
|• MP||Trevor Mallard (Labour Party)|
|• Mayor||Ray Wallace|
|Elevation||86 m (282 ft)|
|• Pacific Island||1332|
|• Middle Eastern/Latin American/ African||60|
|Time zone||NZST (UTC+12)|
|• Summer (DST)||NZDT (UTC+13)|
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (April 2012)|
The isolated nature of Wainuiomata was a problem for early settlers. Narrow hill routes into the settlement were the only access during the 1850s and 1860s. Later proposals were made for rail access to the valley, but never realised. The town's economy in these early days was largely based around timber milling from the forests around the Wainuiomata River. A flax mill was based around the north of the suburb, but this proved to be economically unviable.
Once the forests started to be cleared, sheep and dairy farming became an important part of the local economy. The settlement started to grow into a proper suburb in the 1920s, but the major growth was after World War II, when many young couples moved to the suburb, attracted by the affordable housing.
Hills surround Wainuiomata on three sides. The topography reduces local wind-flow, resulting in lower minimum temperatures in winter and higher maximum temperatures in summer than in most other parts of Wellington and the Hutt Valley.
The Orongorongo Valley, accessed via the Wainuiomata Valley, features bush walks and native-forest scenery.
The town is often abbreviated to Wainui by locals.
Wainuiomata has a reputation for its enthusiasm for sports, particularly rugby league. The Australian NRL Grand Final in 2005 saw each team containing a former member of the Wainuiomata Rugby League Club.
The town's sports enthusiasts related to an incident that attracted national media attention in April 2009 when a Palmerston North motelier banned all Wainuiomata residents. This came after a series of misdemeanours by visitors from there.
Wainuiomata also achieved prominence with the first series of the television production Seven Periods with Mr Gormsby, shot in the old Wainuiomata College with many local residents as cast members.
The documentary series Heartland made Wainuiomata a focus in a film by Gary McCormick during its 1994 series. The show made a household name of Chloe Reeves, an aspiring jazz singer, who voiced her romantic dreams while wearing trademark tiger slippers. Reeves, or Chloe of Wainuiomata, became a byword in New Zealand for the lower socio-economic demographic of Wainuiomata.
Wainuiomata has eight schools.
- Arakura School is a state contributing primary (Year 1–6) school in Arakura, and has 188 students as of July 2014.
- Fernlea School is a state contributing primary (Year 1–6) school, and has 250 students as of July 2014.
- Konini Primary School is a state contributing primary (Year 1–6) school in Parkway, and has 238 students as of July 2014. It was established in 2002 following the merger of Parkway School and Sun Valley School.
- Pukeatua Primary School is a state full primary (Year 1–8) school in Glendale, and has 181 students as of July 2014. It was established in 2002 following the merger of Glendale School and Pencarrow School.
- St Claudine Thevenet School is a state-integrated Catholic full primary (Year 1–8) school, and has 255 students as of July 2014. It was established in 2005 following the merger of St Matthew's School and St Patrick's School.
- Wainuiomata High School is a state secondary (Year 9–13) school in Parkway, and has 775 students as of July 2014. It was established in 2002 following the merger of Parkway College and Wainuiomata College.
- Wainuiomata Intermediate School is a state intermediate (Year 7–8) school in Parkway, and has 319 students as of July 2014. It was established in 2002 following the merger of Parkway Intermediate School and Wainuiomata Intermediate School.
- Wainuiomata Primary School is a state contributing primary (Year 1–6) school in Homedale, and has 343 students as of July 2014. It was established in 2002 following the merger of Wainuiomata School and Wood Hatton School.
Commuter transport is provided by two bus routes, Wainuiomata North (No 160) to the shopping centre and Wainuiomata South (No 170); both from the Waterloo Interchange in the Hutt Valley, and connecting there with trains to Wellington.
A branch commuter railway line (see Wainuiomata railway proposals) was proposed at times in the 20th century, but never proceeded.
Wainuiomata has a volunteer fire brigade, established in 1944 following a major house-fire in 1943. The first superintendent was Mr J.S. Dunn. The first station was built in 1945 on land opposite Wainuiomata Primary School. The Wainuiomata Development Company donated land and timber to the brigade, with other brigades and companies donating hose, standpipes and ladders. The Stokes Valley brigade supplied a Gwynne Trailer pump.
In the early days any available vehicle would tow the pump and trailer to calls. Often this was a 30-seater bus, as one of the foundation members, Mr Artie Kilmister, was the local bus driver. In 1946 the brigade took delivery of its first "real" fire engine, a Ford V8 Marmon-Herrington 4-wheel-drive. This truck, an ex Air Force tender, remained in service until 1965. It had no flashing lights, only a siren and on occasions this failed: it was not unusual for members to yell from the truck "get out of the way", or words to that effect.
The Wainuiomata Volunteer Fire Brigade joined the United Fire Brigades Association of New Zealand (UFBA) in 1944.
- SIMCOX, CRAIG (10 February 2010). "Story of a suburb: Where people are proud to be Wainuiomartians". The Dominion Post (Wellington: Fairfax New Zealand). Retrieved 10 March 2010.
- "Whole town banned for 'arrogance'". Manawatu Standard. 18 April 2009.
- Boyack, Nicholas (23 February 2010). "Wall gets makeover". The Dominion-Post. Retrieved 10 March 2010.
-  listener.co.nz
- "Directory of Schools - as at 30 July 2014". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 2014-08-02.
- Spoelstra, Hanno. "Trucks converted with Marmon-Herrington All-Wheel Drive Conversion Kits". Marmon-Herrington Military Vehicles.
- Wainuiomata Volunteer Fire Brigade