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Coordinates: 37°1′5″S 175°51′45″E / 37.01806°S 175.86250°E / -37.01806; 175.86250
CountryNew Zealand
DistrictThames-Coromandel District
 • Total1,005
View of Pauanui from the top of Vista Paku.

The town of Pauanui (a Māori-language name meaning "big pāua (abalone)")[1] is on the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula in the North Island of New Zealand. It lies at the mouth of the Tairua River on its south bank, directly opposite the larger town of Tairua.[2]

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. Pauanui is known as New Zealand's holiday destination for the elite and wealthy. It is approximately a one-hour 50 minute drive from Auckland - New Zealand's most populous city.

The settlement has an airstrip used by recreational light-aircraft pilots and is noted for game fishing, diving, surfing and its excellent beach.

The area was developed in the late 1960s with a focus on families and included features that were first of their kind in New Zealand, such as red-coloured roads to improve the visibility of pedestrians.[3]


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
Source: [4]
The Pauanui airfield, with aircraft parked almost in the backyards of properties.

Pauanui had a population of 1,005 at the 2018 New Zealand census, an increase of 180 people (21.8%) since the 2013 census, and an increase of 204 people (25.5%) since the 2006 census. There were 501 households. There were 486 males and 519 females, giving a sex ratio of 0.94 males per female. The median age was 63.1 years, with 96 people (9.6%) aged under 15 years, 84 (8.4%) aged 15 to 29, 372 (37.0%) aged 30 to 64, and 456 (45.4%) aged 65 or older.

Ethnicities were 94.6% European/Pākehā, 5.7% Māori, 0.6% Pacific peoples, 2.4% Asian, and 2.7% other ethnicities (totals add to more than 100% since people could identify with multiple ethnicities).

The proportion of people born overseas was 18.2%, compared with 27.1% nationally.

Although some people objected to giving their religion, 48.4% had no religion, 43.0% were Christian, 0.9% were Hindu, 0.3% were Buddhist and 2.1% had other religions.

Of those at least 15 years old, 120 (13.2%) people had a bachelor or higher degree, and 168 (18.5%) people had no formal qualifications. The median income was $29,700. The employment status of those at least 15 was that 291 (32.0%) people were employed full-time, 135 (14.9%) were part-time, and 3 (0.3%) were unemployed.[4]


  1. ^ "1000 Māori place names". New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage. 6 August 2019.
  2. ^ Peter Dowling (editor) (2004). Reed New Zealand Atlas. Reed Books. pp. map 17. ISBN 0-7900-0952-8.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  3. ^ "Pauanui Airfield (NZUN) - About Pauanui". Thames Coromandel District Council. Retrieved 23 May 2021.
  4. ^ a b "Statistical area 1 dataset for 2018 Census". Statistics New Zealand. March 2020. Pauanui (168200). 2018 Census place summary: Pauanui

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°01′S 175°52′E / 37.017°S 175.867°E / -37.017; 175.867