The Taupo pa

Plimmerton was known to Maori as Taupo.  In the 1840s, Ngati Toa Rangatira, Te Rauparaha, had his main residence at Taupo pa, at the site which is now Plimmerton Pavilion.  His nephew Te Rangihaeata also had a pa in Plimmerton where the fire station now stands.  After Te Rauparaha was seized from Taupo village by British troops and police on the 23rd July 1846, the village and pa were slowly deserted.  After this time the main Ngati Toa villages in Porirua were Takapuwahia and Urukahika.  In the following years European settlers began farming the area.
Near the southern end of Motuhara Road, a tiny historic reserve with a plaque marks the site where a cabbage tree stood and where Te Rauparaha was said to have been captured near.

The first European settlement was at Wellington, 27 kms south.  Food was needed for those settlers.  Land was bought and farmed and a road was created around Paremata Harbour and north along the Paekakariki Hill Road.  Plimmerton was bypassed, and remained so until 1938, when the Centennial Highway was built.

A few generations of farmers were the only users of the land until the railway went through in 1886 after which nearby land was subdivided.  This photograph shows the station and adjourning tearooms and long train ready to leave.  The fences show the high water mark and presumably the extent of the land soon to be sold as sections in 1896.

Modern day Plimmerton - developed by 'the father of Wellington' John Plimmer and his son Charles - both railway shareholders - became a 'favourite seaside resort' for visitors by train from both directions.  Plimmerton house (upper hard right in the photo above) was built next to the station.  No road was needed as cars hadn't been invented and travellers on horse or foot could use the nearby beach.  After Plimmerton House burnt down in 1907 a road was arranged to be parallel to the railway line, as it remains today.  Above the railway line the photo shows no provision for a road, or even a cart track.

This photograph, taken by J Aldersley, a Lower Hutt retailer from 1902 until 1929, is of Plimmerton at an interesting date.  Plimmerton House has burnt down but the road has not yet been formed that would eventually go through the old living quarters.  Believed to have been taken sometime around 1910 - 1912.

The original laying-out and naming of streets (read more about street names) was done for the Wellington and Manawatu Railway Company, which built the railway link from the capital of Wellington, to Longburn, near Palmerston North.   Several towns were established along the way to encourage settlements that would contribute to the line's business. John Plimmer, after whom Plimmerton was named, was a director of the company. 

 

By the late 1890s Plimmerton had become a popular holiday destination.

 

For a long time Plimmerton was part of Hutt County, on 1 April 1973 the still-growing area became one of the northern suburbs of Porirua.  Though small, it was one of the most lively.  And for a time it had the only active Residents' Association in the city.

 

Panorama of Plimmerton from Camborne 13 March 2010 by Jasonlv