Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|Area||82 km² (23% of City land area)|
|Extent||East to New Lynn and Green Bay.
South to Manukau Harbour.
West to Waitakere Ranges foothills.
North to West Harbour.
|Population||189,200 (2004 est.)|
|Extent||East to Auckland City boundary at
New Lynn and Green Bay.
South to Manukau Harbour.
West to Tasman Sea.
North to Rodney District boundary
at Bethells Beach, Waitakere
township and Whenuapai.
Waitakere City is in the west of metropolitan Auckland, New Zealand's most populous urban area. Waitakere itself is the country's 5th largest territorial authority by population, with annual growth of about 2%. Most residents live near the city's eastern borders with the Waitemata Harbour and neighbouring Auckland City. The forest-covered Waitakere Ranges dominate the city's western skyline, rising from the rugged surf beaches of the Tasman Sea to an altitude of over 400 metres.
Waitakere City was formed by the amalgamation of Waitemata City with the boroughs of Henderson, New Lynn, and Glen Eden in 1989's nationwide re-organisation of local government. The elected Council consists of Mayor Bob Harvey and 14 councillors representing the four wards. Each ward also has an elected community board that considers local issues.
Geography of the four wards
This urban ward contains the old Henderson borough as well as the suburbs of Glendene, Te Atatu South, and Te Atatu Peninsula (formerly Te Atatu North). There are 40,086 residents (2001). It is located immediately to the west of Auckland city, some 10 kilometres from the city centre, along the western shores of the Waitemata Harbour and its southwestern arm, the Whau River.
Although this area is principally urban, it also has some farms and lifestyle blocks in the north and west. The ward contains the suburbs of Whenuapai, Hobsonville , West Harbour, Massey, Ranui, and Henderson North. It has a population of 51,369 (2001 census). It is located to the north of the Henderson Ward, along the Waitemata's northwestern shore, and includes one of New Zealand's largest concentrations of former military bases, with former large army and air force stations within the ward.
New Lynn Ward
Centered on the old boroughs of New Lynn and Glen Eden , it also contains the suburbs of Kelston, Green Bay , Titirangi, Kaurilands, Waima, and Woodlands Park. The ward has a population of 49,845 (2001). New Lynn Ward is to the south of Henderson Ward, and extends to the shore of the Manukau Harbour at its southern end. New Lynn itself is 10 kilometres southwest of Auckland city centre.
This ward is by far the largest in area as it encompasses the sparsely populated Waitakere Ranges, as well as some of the urban fringes as the city expands westward into former orchards and farms. The population 27,450 (2001) is the smallest of the wards, but it is also the fastest-growing. It encompasses the suburbs, villages and localities of Swanson, Henderson Valley, Sunnyvale, Oratia , Waiatarua, Laingholm, Parau, Cornwallis, Huia, Whatipu, Karekare, Piha, Anawhata, Bethells / Te Henga, and Waitakere township. Many of these have volunteer fire brigades to protect their communities from the summer bush fires. This ward lies to the west of the three other wards, and extends to the north as well. Its northern end, around Muriwai, is also the furthest part of Waitakere from Auckland city centre, lying some 30 kilometres to the northwest of it.
Significant industries in the first 150 years of European settlement after about 1850 included brick and pottery manufacturing, timber milling, kauri gum digging, orchards, farming, viticulture, water supply, railways, and the twin Royal New Zealand Air Force bases of Whenuapai and Hobsonville. Today, Waitakere City has well-developed retail and service sectors and light manufacturing. The two commercial centres are Henderson and New Lynn. Notable niche industries include boat-building, winemaking, and film and television production.
The walking tracks and sights of the Waitakere Ranges attract thousands from the Auckland region in suitable weather, as do the black-sand surf beaches of Piha, Karekare and Bethells. These beaches are notoriously dangerous for surfers and swimmers, however, and great care needs to be taken to avoid their treacherous rips.
Westie is the nickname given to locals because of the city's location relative to the rest of Auckland. Much as Manukau City's administrative geography roughly parallels an unofficial area commonly known as South Auckland, so too Waitakere City has an unofficial equivalent in "West Auckland". The official and unofficial areas do not exactly coincide, and - again like with Manukau and South Auckland - it is the areas with a similar socio-economic mix, roughly from Te Atatu to Glen Eden and New Lynn which are most commonly associated with the nickname.
- Waitakere Online
- Waitakere City Council
- Biography of Ewen Gilmour
- Profiles of several dozen relevant websites
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