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Hutt Road and Kaiwharawhara from Barnard St..jpg
Kaiwharawhara viewed from Barnard Street
Kaiwharawhara is located in New Zealand Wellington
Basic information
Local authority Wellington City Council
Electoral ward Onslow/Western Ward
Coordinates 41°15′36″S 174°47′22″E / 41.260001°S 174.789466°E / -41.260001; 174.789466Coordinates: 41°15′36″S 174°47′22″E / 41.260001°S 174.789466°E / -41.260001; 174.789466
Population 144 (2013 [1])
Train station(s) Kaiwharawhara Railway Station
North Te Kainga
Northeast Cashmere
East Wellington Harbour
Southeast Wellington Harbour
South Pipitea
Southwest Highland Park
West Wadestown
Northwest Ngaio

Kaiwharawhara, formerly known as Kaiwarra, is an urban seaside suburb of Wellington in New Zealand's North Island. It is located north of the centre of the city on the western shore of Wellington Harbour, where the Kaiwharawhara Stream reaches the sea from its headwaters in Karori. It is a largely commercial and industrial area and thus has little residential population. The 2013 New Zealand Census of Population and Dwellings gave the suburb's resident population as 144 [1] which is an increase of 81 people, or 128.6 percent, since the 2006 Census. A recent housing development up the hillside towards Te Kainga has increased the resident population.

Kaiwharawhara contains some major transport infrastructure. Both State Highway 1 and the North Island Main Trunk Railway pass through Kaiwharawhara on their routes from central Wellington northwards. Due to its waterfront location, Kaiwharawhara also has shipping activity, with the Wellington Interislander Ferry terminal located on the boundary of Kaiwharawhara and Pipitea.

Kaiwharawhara Railway Station was closed in 2013, and the suburb is now served by buses. Just north of the station the Wairarapa Line (including the commuter Hutt Valley Line) diverges from the North Island Main Trunk Railway.

In sport, Kaiwharawhara was previously represented in soccer by Waterside, a club formed by dock workers in 1921. In 1988, they merged with the Karori Swifts to form Waterside Karori AFC.

Etymology and history[edit]

In pre-European times, the area was known as Kaiwharawhara, which is Māori for 'food' (kai) and 'the fruit of the Astelia (wharawhara). Jerningham Wakefield during the 1840s commented that the stream was called after the "wharrawharra", and from this, the name was corrupted to Kaiwarra.[2] The suburb (and the station) was renamed from Kaiwarra to Kaiwharawhara from 9 February 1951 by a decision of the New Zealand Geographic Board [3]

From 1890 Kaiwharawhara was part of the Borough of Onslow until the borough amalgamated with Wellington City in 1919.


Kai-Wara-Wara toll gate. Clearing ticket. 6d. 25 Sept(ember) 1864. (21666035225).jpg

A toll-gate was established at Kaiwarra by the Hutt County Council. It caught all vehicular and other traffic in and out of Wellington and made a substantial charge for the maintenance of roads. Hutt County ran from Cook Strait to Waikanae and the Rimutakas and the money was spent on road improvements that gave little or no benefit to Wellington residents. The toll-gate was removed when Kaiwarra joined the Borough of Onslow in 1890. The Hutt County set up new gates on the Hutt Road and Ngauranga Gorge.[4]


  1. ^ a b "2013 Census QuickStats about a place: Kaiwharawhara". 
  2. ^ Reed, A. W. (2010). Peter Dowling, ed. Place Names of New Zealand. Rosedale, North Shore: Raupo. pp. 193f. ISBN 9780143204107. 
  3. ^ New Zealand Railway Observer volume 18, January-February 1951 page 17
  4. ^ Wellington City Libraries accessed 14 April 2017