Northland, Wellington

Northland is a small suburb in west-central Wellington, New Zealand. It sits between Kelburn and the much larger Karori.

Northland is located in New Zealand
Northland is located in New Zealand Wellington
Coordinates: 41°16′53″S 174°45′32″E / 41.28139°S 174.75889°E / -41.28139; 174.75889Coordinates: 41°16′53″S 174°45′32″E / 41.28139°S 174.75889°E / -41.28139; 174.75889
CountryNew Zealand
Local authorityWellington City
 • Land126 ha (311 acres)
 • Total3,357
Wilton Wadestown
Zealandia Wildlife Sanctuary Highbury
The new Fire Station 1930
Northland overlooks Wellington's Botanic Garden


Northland lies to the west of Kelburn separated by a steep gully.[2] It is east of Karori, to the north of Highbury, some distance through The Town Belt to the south-west of Wadestown, and to the south of Wilton. It sits high on the south western slopes of Te Ahumairangi by the Wellington Botanic Garden, Zealandia Wildlife Sanctuary and, on the fill over the piped Kaiwharawhara Stream, Ian Galloway Park with its Rugby fields and dog exercise area.

Notable buildingsEdit

There is a cluster of shops at the top of Garden Road and just below Creswick Terrace known as the Creswick Shops.[3] Woburn Road has the Northland Memorial Community Centre.[4]

Heritage buildingsEdit

  • Northland Fire Station, 54–56 Northland Road.[5]
  • The two church buildings at 69 and 77 Northland Road detailed below[6]
  • 92 Northland Road[7]
  • 82 Creswick Terrace[8]
  • Farm Road houses. Numbers 5, 10, 11 and 13[9][10][11][12]
  • The two tunnels[13][14]


Churches in Northland include:

  • Old St Anne's Anglican church building at 77 Northland Road built about 1905 is listed as a Historic Place category 2.[15]
The building currently known as St Anne's was formerly—
  • Ward Memorial Methodist church at 69 Northland Road built 1929.[16][17]
  • Church of St Vincent de Paul, The Rigi

Church schoolsEdit

Northland is served by two state primary schools, Northland School and state-integrated Cardinal McKeefry Catholic Primary School which was moved up from Thorndon. Cardinal McKeefry Catholic attracts pupils from a very wide collection zone throughout Wellington's central and western suburbs.

Notable residentsEdit

Harbour View Road

  • Prime Ministers Michael Joseph Savage and after him Peter Fraser lived in a house bought in 1939 for the purpose at 64–66 Harbour View Road.[18][19] Following the general election of 1949 Sidney Holland chose to live nearer parliament at 41 Pipitea Street, Thorndon.
  • Potter Doreen Blumhardt lived in Harbour View Road from 1955 until her death in 2009. Her first house at number 35[20] was 65 steps down from the road, followed by a further 40 steps down to her work shed and kiln. It was designed for her by Anthony Treadwell and built in 1955. She bought number 70, directly above 35, in 1979 for its drive-on access and lived there from 1986 until her death.[21]

Northland Road

Farm Road

National Poetry CollectionEdit

The National Poetry Collection is kept in Woburn Road.[26][27]



The Orangikaupapa Block (or Orangi-Kaupapa) on the hill directly opposite the main entrance to the Botanical Gardens was a small Ngāti Awa village where there was "considerable settlement".[28] Population in the 1886 census: 53 males and 48 females. In the 1892 census it had doubled to 110 males and 102 females It was also known as Cliff Pa. In the early 20th century the hill was known for a time as Wireless Hill and is now Te Ahumairangi.

Near the top of the road there were 80 acres of potato gardens belonging to Te Matehou of Pipitea.[17]


The township of Creswick in Karori riding of Hutt County[note 1] was surveyed and subdivided and more than a hundred allotments offered for sale in August 1878. The sections varied in size between quarter of an acre and three acres.[29][30] Population in the 1886 census: 58 males and 30 females, 1892: 47 males and 35 females. The name Creswick stuck to the area between Randwick Road and what was the Kaiwharawhara Stream and is now Curtis Street[31] for some years. A further fifty-one sites were sold in March 1895[32]

Northland high to the far left behind old Government House centre right

Governor's FarmEdit

The area on the Glenmore Street side had the name Governor's farm because for some years in the 19th century the owner, C. J. Pharazyn, leased it to Government House when that was in Thorndon on The Beehive's site. Government House used it for a kind of home farm with vegetable gardens (Garden Road) dairy cows and grazing for horses. The building known as Governor's farmhouse was on what is now Seaview Terrace where it joins the military road. The kink in Glenmore Street at its junction with Garden Road was known as Governor's Bend.[33]


An "auriferous alluvial deposit" was found on a low spur running east west on the Governor's Farm a few hundred yards from the Botanical Gardens while Mr Bidmead was burying a dead cow in 1888.[34]


The new western suburb of Wellington, the new township of Northland, was subdivided and put on sale on 9 March 1900 on the instructions of C. J. Pharazyn.[35]

It was named by him in honour of Thomas Uchter Caulfield, Viscount Northland (1882–1915), the eldest son of the Earl of Ranfurly, Governor of New Zealand from 1897 to 1904. Viscount Northland was a subsidiary title of the Earl's, borne by his eldest son as a courtesy.[36]

On 1 April 1908 Northland left the Borough of Karori following a declaration by the Minister of Internal Affairs that the Kaiwarra Stream (Kaiwharawhara Stream) would be the boundary between Karori and the city of Wellington.[37]


The Karori Tunnel. A new road was built in 1898 from Wellington to Karori including a tunnel beneath Baker's Hill. If built as a cutting it would have created 140 foot high slopes on each side with a high risk of slips. The tunnel also left Raroa Crescent, the existing Te Aro — Karori road, undisturbed[38]

A tram arrives on Northland Road 1929

The Northland Tunnel. Major earthworks were required to build ramps to link the tunnel's Northland Road, Raroa Road now Crescent and Karori Road[39] now known as Chaytor Street at a gradient suitable for trams. Tunnelling found greasy and treacherous ground requiring double shifts on the tunnelling to complete lining and stabilising as quickly as possible. In view of the public's unease for the safety of the workmen an expert tunneller, a Mr Robert Semple, was called in to inspect the site.[40] The stability of the tunnel remained in doubt. Expensive remedial work was finished in January 1928.[41] A bus service was provided because the roadway on the Northland side had yet to be widened and reinforced to take the weight of the trams. There were lengthy courtroom battles between Council and affected residents which had to be settled before that work could be carried out. The tunnel was opened to trams on 4 June 1929.[42]

The Karori Tunnel was 250 feet long, the Northland Tunnel, 225 feet. For comparison the Kilbirnie (Mt Victoria bus) Tunnel is 1,274 feet and Seatoun 470 feet.[43]


  1. ^ Karori was administered as a subsection (riding) of the Hutt County and did not achieve its own independent borough status until 24 September 1891. Karori Borough amalgamated with Wellington city on 1 April 1920.


  1. ^ "Community Profile". Wellington City Council.
  2. ^ Chris Maclean, 'Wellington places – Western suburbs', Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 29 November 2018)
  3. ^ Crayton-Brown, Blake (10 October 2014). "Northland Rd a takeaway food paradise". The Wellingtonian. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  4. ^ "Community centres – Northland Memorial Community Centre – Wellington City Council". Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  5. ^ "Northland Fire Station (Former) – Wellington Heritage – Absolutely Positively Wellington City Council Me Heke Ki Poneke". Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  6. ^ Old St Anne's
  7. ^ Robin Hyde house
  8. ^ 82 Creswick Terrace
  9. ^ 5 Farm Road
  10. ^ 10 Farm Road
  11. ^ 11 Farm Road
  12. ^ 13 Farm Road
  13. ^ Northland
  14. ^ Karori
  15. ^ Heritage New Zealand
  16. ^ Evening Post, 6 February 1930, Page 5
  17. ^ a b Historical Northland
  18. ^ Local Gossip, New Zealand Herald, Volume LXXVI, Issue 23339, 6 May 1939, Page 4
  19. ^ Dominion Post (Wellington), 2012: 1 December pE1 & 26 December pA14
  20. ^ 1959 Exhibition catalogue accessed 18 November 2018
  21. ^ Taonga, New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage Te Manatu. "Blumhardt, Vera Doreen". Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  22. ^ "Overlooked Wellington writer Iris Wilkinson honoured with new plaque in Northland". Stuff. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  23. ^ "Obituary: Harvey John McQueen, ONZM, JP | Scoop News". Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  24. ^ "| New Zealand Book Council". Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  25. ^ Wellington City Heritage
  26. ^ Archive accessed 2 December 2018
  27. ^ "Visiting the Archive". Poetry Archive of New Zealand Aotearoa. 14 June 2010. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  28. ^ New Zealand Times 10 December 1897, Page 2
  29. ^ New Zealand Times Volume XXXIII, issue 5425, 16 August 1878
  30. ^ New Zealand Times 26 September 1882 Page 2
  31. ^ Township of Creswick, National Library accessed 1 December 2018
  32. ^ The Evening Post 11 March 1895 Page 2
  33. ^ Evening Post, 8 March 1900, Page 8
  34. ^ Evening Post 18 April 1888 Page 2
  35. ^ New Zealand Times, 2 March 1900, Page 3
  36. ^ "Northland". NZ History. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  37. ^ New Zealand Times, 2 April 1908, Page 8
  38. ^ New Zealand Mail 16 December 1897 Page 29
  39. ^ Evening Post, 7 January 1924, Page 8
  40. ^ Evening Post, 20 April 1925, Page 6
  41. ^ Cement hides all the bumps Evening Post, 1 February 1928, Page 10
  42. ^ Evening Post, 15 May 1929, Page 11
  43. ^ Evening Post, 4 April 1924, Page 8