Johnsonville, New Zealand facts for kids
|Local authority||Wellington City|
|Electoral ward||Northern Ward|
|Land area||371 ha (1.43 sq mi)*|
|Railway station(s)||Johnsonville Railway Station|
|East||Johnsonville–Porirua Motorway, Newlands|
Johnsonville is a large suburb in northern Wellington, New Zealand. It is seven kilometres north of the city centre, at the top of the Ngauranga Gorge, on the main route to Porirua (State Highway 1). The population of "J'ville" (as it is commonly known) was 10,239 at the 2013 census.
Johnsonville is a reasonably large residential and commercial suburb. Johnsonville Station is the northern terminus of the Johnsonville branch line of the Tranz Metro electric passenger service to central Wellington, with an adjacent bus stop for several routes known as the Johnsonville Hub. Johnsonville supports a large commuter population. Housing is spread around the shopping hub in the centre and extends out to the base of Mt Kaukau to the west, and out across the hill towards the suburb of Newlands to the south-east.
Johnsonville was originally the site of a Maori track from Wellington to Porirua, and had no native inhabitants before European settlement. Vegetation was dense native forest, dominated by totara, mixed podocarp trees (notably totara and Rimu), Rata and hinau. Johnsonville was settled in 1841 by, among others, Frank Johnson who had purchased a certificate of selection and had drawn the 100 acre 'Section 11 Kinapora (Kenepuru) District'. Initially called 'Johnson's clearing', Frank Johnson built a house by the Johnsonville stream and a timber mill near the center of modern Johnsonville. He quickly denuded the entire Johnsonville area of virgin native forest, with timber sold to help build the nearby town of Wellington. He soon sold his land at a substantial profit, and returned to England by 1858 leaving the environment massively changed, and on which site a farming industry to support nearby Wellington City grew. Over the 20th century, farmland slowly gave way to Suburbia, with the first tiny township of Johnsonville steadily growing to become populated principally by a "mid-level" socio-economic strata. Johnsonville was a town by 1896.
Town Board then Wellington suburb
Johnsonville was proclaimed a local board in 1874. From 1881 it was a dependent town district, renamed in 1887 the Johnsonville Town District. In 1908 the Town Board became independent. In 1909, John Rod, Chairman of the Town Board, presided over negotiations to have electric lighting and power, for public and private use, installed in Johnsonville by Norman Heath & Co. The board was active in the 1912-1922 period when gas lighting and drainage were installed and streets kerbed and channeled. In 1912 a water reservoir was built for water supplied from Ohariu Valley, and a new reservoir built in 1922. Drainage installed in 1912 was to a septic tank in Ngauranga Gorge. The septic tank lasted to 1953; when Johnsonville amalgamated with the Wellington City Council in April, and the council completed a main sewer to the area.
The town grew rapidly from 1938, when the area was linked to Wellington via a new electric train service and state housing expanded in the town. In the 1960s, the first shopping mall in the Wellington region was built in Johnsonville.
Johnsonville has a number of community groups including:
- The Johnsonville club
- Johnsonville community centre
- Johnsonville Lions club
- Johnsonville Community Association (Inc.)
The residents of nearby suburbs such as Churton Park, Grenada Village, Newlands, Khandallah, Ngaio and Broadmeadows also use its facilities especially for shopping at the Johnsonville Shopping Centre. While many of these centres have new supermarkets, the range of shops available in Johnsonville is a major attraction to the wider district.
Johnsonville, New Zealand Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.