Shelly Bay

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Shelly Bay
Basic information
Local authority Wellington City
North Wellington Harbour
East Scorching Bay
Southeast Karaka Bay
South Maupuia
West Roseneath
RNZAF Base Shelly Bay
Active 1946–1995
Country  New Zealand
Branch Ensign of the Royal New Zealand Air Force.svg Royal New Zealand Air Force
Motto(s) Maori: Hapaingia Te Kaupapa
("Support for our superior headquarters")

Shelly Bay is a bay on the Miramar Peninsula of Wellington, New Zealand. The New Zealand Defence Force owned the land on Shelly Bay for 124 years until 2009. Shelly Bay was where most of the scenes depicting "Skull Island" in the 2005 film King Kong were filmed.[1]


Te Āti Awa settled on the bay before European arrival, Maru-Kai-Kuru was the name of the village sited at the northern end of the bay.[2]

In 1839 the bay was sold to the New Zealand Company along with most of Wellington. In 1907 the land was transferred to the Royal New Zealand Navy (during the Second World War it was the naval station HMNZS Cook)[citation needed], and in 1946 it was transferred again to the Royal New Zealand Air Force to accommodate up to 300 staff. The New Zealand Defence Force owned land on Shelly Bay until 1995 when the then Air Force Base was closed.[3]

On 14 February 2009 the land was handed over to Taranaki Whanui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika as part of a Treaty of Waitangi settlement.[4]


At the handover of Shelly Bay, Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust Chairman Ngatata Love said the new owners "will work with all relevant communities so that, over time, everyone in the greater Wellington region will benefit from this settlement". The Wellington community made it clear that the land should have mixed use a potential mix of housing, shopping and commercial, with large tracts of it being kept green.[3]


  1. ^ IMDb
  2. ^ Te Ara o Nga Tupuna Heritage Trail Retrieved: 19 February 2009
  3. ^ a b "Iwi buy Shelly Bay". 18 December 2008. Retrieved 9 January 2012. 
  4. ^ "Historic Wellington land handed to Iwi". NZPA. 14 February 2009. Retrieved 9 November 2011. 

Coordinates: 41°17′46″S 174°49′08″E / 41.296°S 174.819°E / -41.296; 174.819