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Otahuhu, New Zealand

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Title: Otahuhu, New Zealand  
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Subject: Manukau City, Public sector organisations in New Zealand, Manukau Harbour, Howick, New Zealand, John Bacot, New Lynn, South Auckland, Great South Road, New Zealand, John Thornton Down, Tamaki River
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Otahuhu, New Zealand

A part of eastern Otahuhu from the air.
Basic information
Local authority Auckland
Population 11,991 (2001)
Train station(s) Otahuhu Train Station
North Mount Wellington
Northeast (Tamaki River), Pakuranga
East (Tamaki River), East Tamaki
Southeast Otara
South Middlemore, Papatoetoe
Southwest Favona, Mangere East
West (Mangere Inlet)
Northwest Westfield

Otahuhu is a suburb of Auckland. It is located 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) to the southeast of the city centre, on a narrow isthmus between an arm of the Manukau Harbour to the west and the Tamaki River estuary to the east. The isthmus is the narrowest connection between the North Auckland Peninsula and the rest of the North Island, being only some 1200 metres wide at its narrowest point, between the Otahuhu Creek and the Mangere Inlet. As the southernmost suburb of the former Auckland City it is considered part of South Auckland.

The suburb's name is taken from the Māori name of a volcanic cone now known as Mount Richmond. The name derives from that of a Māori chief, Tahuhu, and means "Of Tahuhu".

Despite its spelling locals typically do not pronounce the second "hu", it is usually referred to as simply "Otahu" (although it would never be written this way).


The suburb was established in 1847 as a fencible settlement, where soldiers were given land with the implied understanding that in wartime, they would be raised as units to defend it (however, the eventual fighting a decade later used professional soldiers instead). Most early features from this time have disappeared however, such as a stone bridge built by the fencibles that had to make way to a widening of Great South Road.[1]

Otahuhu was home to the country's first supermarket, and is also home to the Counties Manukau Police Headquarters, and Otahuhu College, to which several famous personalities went, including heavyweight boxing champion David Tua, former prime minister David Lange, and ex-Manukau City Mayor, Sir Barry Curtis.


Otahuhu, in its position on a narrow section of the Auckland Isthmus, is an important part of Auckland's southern transportation approaches for both road and rail, containing a major bus interchange and Otahuhu Train Station. The bus interchange, which was badly neglected, is to receive increased attention from early 2011 on, with Maori Wardens present, and increased vandalism/graffiti prevention measures.[2]

The importance for transportation extended to pre-European times. The aptly named Portage Road runs across the isthmus in Otahuhu and was used by Māori to move their wakas (canoes) between the Manukau and Waitemata harbours for raids and trading. In fact, the area, also known as Te Tō Waka, was considered the most important portage of all of New Zealand.[3][4]

Sport and recreation

Otahuhu is home to the Otahuhu Leopards rugby league club.


Coordinates: 36°56′43″S 174°50′42″E / 36.94528°S 174.84500°E / -36.94528; 174.84500

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