Rural area surrounding Paeroa
|Territorial authority||Hauraki District|
|Elevation||15 m (49 ft)|
Paeroa is a small town in New Zealand, that lies in the Hauraki district. Located at the base of the Coromandel Peninsula, it is close to the junction of the Waihou and Ohinemuri Rivers, it is 20 kilometres (12.4 miles) from the Firth of Thames coast.
The town stands at the intersection of State Highways 2 and 26, and is the central service location for the Hauraki District with the town being a midway stop between Auckland, Tauranga and Rotorua. It is about half way between Auckland and Tauranga, and acts as the southern gateway to the Coromandel Peninsula, and as the western gateway to the Bay of Plenty and the Karangahake Gorge.
Paeroa had a population of 4,269 at the 2018 New Zealand census, an increase of 471 people (12.4%) since the 2013 census, and an increase of 378 people (9.7%) since the 2006 census. There were 1,713 households. There were 2,046 males and 2,223 females, giving a sex ratio of 0.92 males per female. The median age was 49.8 years, with 723 people (16.9%) aged under 15 years, 636 (14.9%) aged 15 to 29, 1,641 (38.4%) aged 30 to 64, and 1,266 (29.7%) aged 65 or older.
Ethnicities were 75.9% European/P?keh?, 30.9% M?ori, 3.9% Pacific peoples, 4.1% Asian, and 1.2% other ethnicities (totals add to more than 100% since people could identify with multiple ethnicities).
The proportion of people born overseas was 12.3%, compared with 27.1% nationally.
Although some people objected to giving their religion, 49.4% had no religion, 36.3% were Christian, 0.4% were Hindu, 0.1% were Muslim, 0.6% were Buddhist and 4.6% had other religions.
Of those at least 15 years old, 300 (8.5%) people had a bachelor or higher degree, and 1,125 (31.7%) people had no formal qualifications. The median income was $22,200. The employment status of those at least 15 was that 1,251 (35.3%) people were employed full-time, 450 (12.7%) were part-time, and 186 (5.2%) were unemployed.
The statistical area of Paeroa Rural covers 273 square kilometres and includes the localities of Netherton, Tirohia and Karangahake. It had a population of 1,845 at the 2018 New Zealand census, an increase of 171 people (10.2%) since the 2013 census, and an increase of 90 people (5.1%) since the 2006 census. There were 687 households. There were 948 males and 897 females, giving a sex ratio of 1.06 males per female. The median age was 44.8 years, with 360 people (19.5%) aged under 15 years, 270 (14.6%) aged 15 to 29, 915 (49.6%) aged 30 to 64, and 303 (16.4%) aged 65 or older.
Ethnicities were 87.6% European/P?keh?, 21.5% M?ori, 2.6% Pacific peoples, 2.4% Asian, and 2.1% other ethnicities (totals add to more than 100% since people could identify with multiple ethnicities).
The proportion of people born overseas was 10.2%, compared with 27.1% nationally.
Although some people objected to giving their religion, 57.2% had no religion, 28.3% were Christian, 0.2% were Hindu, 0.3% were Muslim, 0.8% were Buddhist and 4.7% had other religions.
Of those at least 15 years old, 153 (10.3%) people had a bachelor or higher degree, and 408 (27.5%) people had no formal qualifications. The median income was $30,300. The employment status of those at least 15 was that 711 (47.9%) people were employed full-time, 276 (18.6%) were part-time, and 48 (3.2%) were unemployed.
Captain James Cook explored the Waihou River in 1779, taking a long-boat up as far as Netherton, just a couple of miles from where the town of Paeroa was built 100 years on.
The area was briefly explored in October 1826 by Captain James Herd, in command of the Lambton and the Isabella (or Rosanna). Herd was sent on an exploratory mission by the first organisation to be known as the New Zealand Company and claimed to have bought one million acres (400,000 ha) of land from local M?ori in Hokianga and Manukau.
By 1869, anticipating the rush to the Ohinemuri Goldfields, considerable numbers of miners camped at Cashell's Landing "Puke".[clarification needed]
When James Mackay (surveyor) and Sir David McLean (Minister of Mines) completed negotiations six years later with the M?ori Chiefs, Tukukino and Taraia, the fields were declared open. Six hundred miners rushed to Karangahake, considered to be the El Dorado, on 3 March 1875. A canvas town of 1,600 people with about 20 stores and grog shops set the area going. The big gold reefs like Talisman and Crown were discovered but proved hard to work. Heavy machinery required for hard quartz mining had to be brought via the Waihou River and up to Paeroa. The river was the only highway and with two shipping companies in operation, Paeroa became a thriving transport and distribution centre.
When the Northern Steamship Company combined with its opposition, the wharves from near the Bank of New Zealand (Wharf Street) had to be shifted two miles (3.2 km) downstream in 1892, and eventually to just below Puke Bridge due to the silting from mining operations. A busy freight business developed with four ships regularly running from Auckland to Thames to Paeroa.
The Thames Branch railway line reached the town in 1881 at the Paeroa Railway Station, and gradually ships gave way to steam, which in turn gave way to road transport. Work on the Paeroa-Pokeno Line commenced in the 1930s, but little was done and the proposal was abandoned.
A historic Paeroa building, in the town centre, is the former National Bank of New Zealand's gold refinery, built in 1914 in Willoughby Street. The building is now a private home and business, hidden from street level view by a ponga fence. In 1911 the National Bank formed joint venture with the New Zealand Mining Trust and the bank purchased a section with a 97 ft (30 m) frontage by 125 ft (38 m) deep in Arthur Street (now Willoughby Street) for 200 pounds.
By February, 1914, a Ferro-cement building 80 by 40 ft (24 by 12 m), with an iron roof and a 40-foot-tall (12 m) smokestack was completed. Inside was the main refining chamber, two assay offices, weighing room, accounting room, engine and dynamo rooms, two officers' bedrooms, sitting room and bathroom. Detached from the main building was a store room and coal bin.
When Brenan and Company, the largest horse and wagon operator, moved to trucking, they bought out the steamship company and named their trucks after the ships that plied the Ohinemuri River. Waimarie and Taniwha were always painted on the new International or Ford trucks that came into their fleet. When transport operator Sarjant's amalgamated with Brenan, a large truck centre evolved in Paeroa.
As the passenger rail service dwindled, Paeroa eventually lost its railway, so much of the town had its beginnings in supply and transport to the Hauraki and District. The swings of time have enabled the town to boom and revert a number of times.
Paeroa is best known for the soft drink Lemon & Paeroa (L&P) that used to be produced in the town. The soft drink was made with lemon and carbonated mineral water from Paeroa. Today L&P is owned by Coca-Cola and produced on the same production line as other Coca-Cola products sold in New Zealand.
A large L&P bottle stands on the main road as a landmark in the town of Paeroa. In 1994 L&P ran a series of advertisements based around Paeroa, the advert had locals standing in front of various parts of the town pointing out what the town isn't famous for. In one advertisement, a local stands in front a 1930s bungalow making the comment, "It's not famous for its Hollywood mansions". Landmarks and features in the town included the towns Harbour Bridge (a small single lane bridge), bright lights (a flashing chemist sign), luxury hotels (a local motel), trendy shops (an Op Shop) and Opera House (the back of the local town hall).
At the end of each advert a group of people would end by saying "But it is famous" pointing to the landmark L&P bottle in the background. The advert would end with the tag line L&P World Famous in New Zealand. There were 3 separate advertisements all using the song Counting the Beat by The Swingers.
Paeroa is known as the Events Capital of the Coromandel, as well as having a national reputation for horse racing. February is a busy event month in Paeroa and the motorcycle race 'Battle of the Streets' and 'Pipe Band Tattoo' events both attract participants and crowds from all over New Zealand and overseas.
The horse track was closed in 2014 due to financial issues with the managers of the track..
Paeroa College is a secondary (years 9-13) school with a decile rating of 2 and a roll of 265. The College opened on 5 February 1958, and replaced the Paeroa District High School which had operated from 1902.
Paeroa has five other schools:
Pae = ridge ; roa = long.