Te Atatū

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Te Atatū
(Te Atatū Peninsula/Peninsula
Te Atatū South)
Location of Te Atatū in Auckland.
Coordinates: 36°51.45′S 174°39.13′E / 36.85750°S 174.65217°E / -36.85750; 174.65217Coordinates: 36°51.45′S 174°39.13′E / 36.85750°S 174.65217°E / -36.85750; 174.65217
CountryNew Zealand
CityAuckland Council
Royal Heights (Waitematā Harbour), Hobsonville (Waitematā Harbour), Birkdale, New Zealand, Kauri Park
Te Atatū
(Te Atatū Peninsula/Peninsula
Te Atatū South)
(Waitematā Harbour), Point Chevalier
Henderson Glendene (Whau River), Rosebank Peninsula

Te Atatū (from the Māori Te Atatū: "the dawn") is the name of two adjacent suburbs in western Auckland, New Zealand: Te Atatū Peninsula and Te Atatū South. They are located next to each other some 10 kilometres to the west of the Auckland city centre, and are separated by the Northwestern Motorway.

Te Atatū Peninsula, the change to “Peninsula” was put forward by Emi Groot and adopted by council in 1997. Also known as Te Atatū North, lies, as the name suggests, on the northern part of a small peninsula. It is located at the western extremity of the Waitemata Harbour, and is formed by the Henderson Creek, an estuarial arm of the harbour that extends southwest from the harbour. The northern part of the peninsula is four kilometres in length and two kilometres in width.

Te Atatū South is sited at the point where the peninsula meets the rest of the island, south of the motorway interchange, which bisects the formerly more closely linked areas. Both suburban areas are characterised by a well-established suburban neighbourhood, with two town centres providing shops, medical services and community facilities. Most inhabitants work in west Auckland or Auckland City.[1]

Electorate Te Atatū
MP Chris Carter (NZLP)

The Te Atatū electorate, which covers both suburbs, is served in the New Zealand Parliament by Phil Twyford.


The peninsula (and to a large degree, the southern part of the suburb), is defined by Henderson Creek in the west, and the Whau River in the east. Mangroves and other estuarine epifauna dominate the boundaries, with the geology composed mostly of marine and stream sediments.[1]


The original Maori name for the area was Orukuwai, meaning the place of Rukuwai (an ancestor of Te Kawerau-a-Maki).[2] The remains of a large Māori settlement were found in many places on the suburb, and the remains of flax baskets, fishing nets, and old clothes were found in the land of a local resident and heaps of pipi shells have been found in farms.

European settlement began between 1853 and 1873 when Thomas Henderson acquired land from the Ngati Whatua and eventually the Crown in 1855. He established the Henderson Timber Mill in what is now known as Henderson. The area was known as Henderson Point until 1907 when it was renamed Te Atatu ("the dawn") by Reverend Jackson Bennett. The name was based upon his vision of the morning sun shimmering on the Waitemata.[3]

Te Atatū prior to State Highway 16.[4]

The two suburbs were relatively rural areas until the 1950s when the first stages of the Northwestern Motorway (part of State Highway 16) were opened along the coast of the Waitemata Harbour. This encouraged suburban settlements to the west of Auckland, and Te Atatū grew rapidly as a result. In the 2000s, the working-class suburb area became increasingly popular for luxury apartments and other higher-cost residential development.[5]

Proposed port[edit]

In the 1950s, there were plans to build a new deepwater port at the Te Atatū Peninsula.[6] Land was acquired under public works regulations, and later, the Auckland Harbour Bridge was built to a clear height sufficient to allow large ships to pass under it. However, the port idea was never realised. Homes stand on some of it, but most of it is a reserve with views to Auckland city.[7]

Walkways and Cycleways also run along both coasts along the Henderson Creek and Whau River.

A regular bus service runs to the city along Great North Road, and another service runs along Te Atatū Rd.

A ferry service to the city has also been proposed.[8]



The local State secondary school is Rutherford College.[9] Other convenient State secondary schools are Henderson High School, ACG Sunderland school and college, Liston College, and St Dominic's College. Local intermediate schools are Te Atatū Intermediate and Rangeview Intermediate. There are also seven primary schools: Edmonton, Flanshaw Road, Freyberg, Tirimoana, Rutherford, Matipo and Peninsula.


Te Atatū is home to several sports clubs. Perhaps the most successful is the Te Atatu Roosters rugby league team who were national champions in 1988. They are based at Jack Colvin Park. Other teams who play in the Te Atatū area are the Te Atatū Tennis Club, Waitakere Cricket Club, Waitakere rugby union club, Waitemata Football Club, Te Atatū Football Club, West City Baseball Club, Te Atatū softball club, Waitemata Rowing Club, and Te Atatū Boating Club.


  1. ^ a b Waterview Connection - Assessment of Environmental Effects: Part C. New Zealand Transport Agency. August 2010. pp. 8.6–8.8.
  2. ^ "Te Atatū". New Zealand History. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  3. ^ Thoman; Wymer, Paul. "A Short History of Te Atatū Peninsula". markboyd.co.nz. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  4. ^ Photograph taken 9 November 1951 by Whites Aviation. Photographs. Ref: WA-29674-G http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22323127
  5. ^ Thompson, Wayne (2 April 2007). "Locals pay high price for high-rise". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
  6. ^ "Harry L. Julian: City wharf vital for trade". The New Zealand Herald. 8 March 2006. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
  7. ^ "Te Atatū land claim ends in Supreme Court". Stuff. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  8. ^ http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/7528239/Te-Atatu-ferry-could-ease-traffic
  9. ^ Smith, Vaughan (6 September 2010). "My Auckland: Te Atatū Peninsula". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 1 October 2010.

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