This page gives a description of the history of Aotea Lagoon, once part of the original shoreline around Porirua Harbour.
Bays formed by the construction of the railway causeway as it nears completion in 1961.
Photo from Pataka Museum Collection, at Porirua Library ref A.26.3.
Lagoons partly filled in with material.
Photo from Pataka Museum Collection, at Porirua Library ref A.2a.16.
The Ministry initially sought to entirely fill in Aotea Lagoon for playing fields, but the then Porirua Harbour Authority expressed concern and suggested an aquatic recreational resource instead. Debate raged but by 1974 it was resolved in favour of an aquatic park and an estimated price tag of $283,000 was put on its development.
The original plan was detailed in the Kapi-Mana News in August 1975 and included possible features such as a reptile pit, a proposed miniature city and sunken aviary. In 1975 the Ministry undertook the bulk earthworks, including the construction of the island and filling of the backwater areas. Then in 1976 a landscape architectural firm was commissioned to prepare landscape design proposals. The Lagoon was finally opened in 1980. Project Employment Programme work schemes were used to establish much of the lagoons’ features such as road and brick works, planting of the basic vegetation and later in the mid 1980s the construction of the adventure playground, and its redevelopment in 2014.
The development of Aotea Lagoon was very much a community project. The Waitangirua Lions developed the model railway (which has a 833m long track and runs Sundays 1-4pm), Porirua Rotary developed the rose gardens and the Paremata Jaycees constructed the windmill. Various other projects have been proposed over the years for the lagoon such as a restaurant for the island; a garden for the blind; a paddle steamer; a wooden maze and a mini putt golf course, but none of these projects have been implemented.
An aluminium row boat concession did operate on the Lagoon for five years but stopped in 1989. Canoe Hire was approved, but never went ahead and jetski use was considered but rejected as incompatible with the passive nature of the lagoon.
The Lagoon perimeter path is 732 metres and is popular with runners and walkers. It is permissible to walk dogs on the lead, but please respect other users of the park and pick up after them (it is compulsory to carry a bag for this purpose).
The lagoon was vested in Porirua City Council in 1994. Prior to this the land was leased from the Crown.
Built By Optimation