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Johnsonville, New Zealand facts for kids

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Johnsonville shopping area
Johnsonville shopping area
Country New Zealand
Local authority Wellington City
Electoral ward Takapū/Northern Ward
 • Land 373 ha (922 acre)
 (June 2022)
 • Total 11,650
Railway station(s) Johnsonville Railway Station
Ohariu Valley Churton Park Paparangi
Mount Kaukau
Johnsonville–Porirua Motorway, Newlands
Broadmeadows, Khandallah Ngauranga Gorge

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). It is commonly known by locals as "J'ville".


Johnsonville - panoramio
A view of houses in Johnsonville
Johnsonville Wgtn 01
Houses in Johnsonville

Johnsonville has a modestly large commercial infrastructure and is self-sufficient in many ways; it has a shopping mall, two supermarkets, library and a community hub.

Public transport

NZR DM class EMU 07
A train at Johnsonville Railway Station in 2007

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.

Keith Spry Pool

Keith Spry pool is an indoor 25 meter heated pool with a diving pool, toddler pool, spa, and sauna: opened in June 1982. The pool is run by Wellington City Council. On June 2013, work started on a $6 million revamp of the facilities which expanded the complex by 50 percent, adding a new learn to swim pool, replacing the roof and expanding the changing rooms. In 2019, Keith Spry Pool and Johnsonville Library was brought under the wings of Waitohi Hub.

Alex Moore Park

Alex Moore park is a sporting ground located on Broderick Road / Moorefield Road. The grounds host football, rugby, cricket, softball and athletics. The facilities include an artificial cricket surface, changing rooms and club house. The Alex Moore Park Development Project is planning a $6 million sports centre on the site that will replace disparate and outdated sports clubrooms with a centralised gym, meeting rooms and function area.

Johnsonville Community Centre

The Johnsonville Community Centre is located on the corner of Frankmoore Avenue and Moorefield Road and provides community services including education, Citizens Advice Bureau, support groups and youth groups. The building is owned by the Wellington City Council and was opened in 1995 after significant investment and fund raising by local community groups.

Regional planning

As a part of the Northern Growth Management Plan from Wellington City Council, there exists a proposal to redevelop Johnsonville's main precinct into the "Johnsonville Town Centre". This plan recognises Johnsonville as Wellington's most economically important commercial and population hub outside the city centre. The plan recommends the creation of a unique and identifiable Johnsonville culture around the triangular precinct - bounded by Johnsonville Road to the east, Broderick Road to the south and Moorefield Road to the west.


Johnson's clearing

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.

Community and social groups

Johnsonville has a number of community groups including:

  • The Johnsonville club
  • Johnsonville community centre
  • Johnsonville Lions club
  • Johnsonville Community Association (Inc.)

Nearby suburbs

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 Shopping Centre consists of 500 carparks and 70 shops, including a Countdown supermarket.


Johnsonville, comprising the statistical areas of Johnsonville West, Johnsonville North, Johnsonville Central and Johnsonville South, covers 3.73 km2 (1.44 sq mi). It had an estimated population of 11650 as of June 2022, with a population density of 3123 people per km2.

Historical population
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
2006 9,240 —    
2013 10,236 +1.47%
2018 11,106 +1.64%

Johnsonville had a population of 11,106 at the 2018 New Zealand census, an increase of 870 people (8.5%) since the 2013 census, and an increase of 1,866 people (20.2%) since the 2006 census. There were 3,942 households. There were 5,394 males and 5,712 females, giving a sex ratio of 0.94 males per female, with 2,211 people (19.9%) aged under 15 years, 2,202 (19.8%) aged 15 to 29, 5,349 (48.2%) aged 30 to 64, and 1,350 (12.2%) aged 65 or older.

Ethnicities were 61.2% European/Pākehā, 9.8% Māori, 5.9% Pacific peoples, 30.3% Asian, and 3.8% other ethnicities (totals add to more than 100% since people could identify with multiple ethnicities).

The proportion of people born overseas was 36.7%, compared with 27.1% nationally.

Although some people objected to giving their religion, 43.9% had no religion, 37.3% were Christian, 5.2% were Hindu, 2.1% were Muslim, 2.1% were Buddhist and 3.3% had other religions.

Of those at least 15 years old, 3,381 (38.0%) people had a bachelor or higher degree, and 885 (9.9%) people had no formal qualifications. The employment status of those at least 15 was that 4,890 (55.0%) people were employed full-time, 1,176 (13.2%) were part-time, and 387 (4.4%) were unemployed.

Individual statistical areas
Name Population Households Median age Median income
Johnsonville West 3,369 1,149 36.7 years $42,800
Johnsonville North 3,243 1,113 34.8 years $41,600
Johnsonville Central 2,802 1,056 34.5 years $35,800
Johnsonville South 1,692 624 37.1 years $39,000
New Zealand 37.4 years $31,800


School enrollment zones

Johnsonville is within the enrollment zones for Onslow College, Newlands College, St Oran's College, Raroa Normal Intermediate and Johnsonville School.

Secondary education

Johnsonville is home to the co-educational high school Onslow College. It has a roll of 1370 as of April 2023.

Primary and intermediate education

Johnsonville has one intermediate school and several primary schools:

  • Raroa Normal Intermediate is a state intermediate school with a roll of 618.
  • Johnsonville School is a contributing state primary school with a roll of 306.
  • St Brigids School is a contributing state-integrated Catholic primary school with a roll of 287.
  • West Park School is a contributing state primary school with a roll of 309.

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