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Onerahi Aerial.jpg
Aerial view of Onerahi, showing Whangarei Airport
Basic information
Local authority Whangarei
Population 2,046 (2013)
Airport(s) Whangarei Airport
North Sherwood Rise
East Parua Bay
Southeast (Whangarei Harbour)
South (Whangarei Harbour)
Southwest (Whangarei Harbour)
Northwest Whangarei

Onerahi is a seaside suburb of Whangarei, New Zealand's northern most city. It is the city's only seaside suburb.[1] It is located 9 km south-east of the centre of Whangarei, and follows the Whangarei harbour coastline until it meets the Pacific Ocean.

The population was 2,046 in the 2013 Census, an increase of 42 from 2001. [2]

However, if Sherwood rise is included, the population is 5,682, an increase of 180 from 2001. [3]

The suburb's main feature is Whangarei Airport, located on the large flat area at the southern end of the suburb, which was built up using material from the site of a former Maori Pa (fortress) just to the north.

There are two concentric roads around the seaward plateau; the upper one surrounds the airport, and the lower follows the coast.[4] The suburb is connected to Whangarei via the Onerahi Causeway.

Close to the suburb in the harbour is Motu Matakohe or Limestone Island, now being managed to restore its ecosystems.


The land for the town was purchased by Henry Walton and William Smellie Graham from Te Tirarau in the mid-1860s. It was then called Kaiwaka Point, but they renamed it Grahamtown. In 1912 it was renamed again to Onerahi to prevent a conflict with Grahamstown in the Coromandel.[5]

From 1911 to 1933, Onerahi was also served by a branch line railway from the North Auckland Line known as the Onerahi Branch. It was built to provide access to a wharf in Onerahi, and when coastal shipping declined severely in the 1930s, the railway was closed. Part of its formation has been retained as a walking track.

Whangarei Airport was established in May 1939 as a RNZAF training base. It was later converted to civilian use with commercial flights commencing in 1947, and has served the Whangarei District since. [6]


Onerahi Primary School is a contributing primary (years 1-6) school with a decile rating of 4 and a roll of 455.[7] The school was established in 1893.[8] Raurimu Avenue School is a full primary (years 1-8) school with a decile rating of 2 and a roll of 86.[9]

Both schools are coeducational.


The Onerahi Central Cricket Club celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2006, highlighted by a re-run of their first game against Whangarei Boys' High School with best-of selections.[10]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°46′S 174°22′E / 35.767°S 174.367°E / -35.767; 174.367