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Auckland State Highway One.jpg
Part of eastern Ōtāhuhu from the air
Basic information
Local authority Auckland Council
Population 11,991 (2001)
Train station(s) Otahuhu Train Station
North Mount Wellington
Northeast (Tamaki River), Pakuranga
East (Tamaki River), East Tamaki
Southeast Ōtara
South Middlemore, Papatoetoe
Southwest Favona, Mangere East
West (Mangere Inlet)
Northwest Westfield

Ōtāhuhu is a suburb of Auckland 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 Ōtāhuhu 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 also known as Mount Richmond. The name refers to "the place of Tāhuhu", a Maori ancestor Tāhuhu-nui-a-Rangi who settled the area. In colloquial speech locals typically shorten the name to "Otahu".


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.

Ōtāhuhu was home to the country's first supermarket, and Ōtāhuhu 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.


Ōtāhuhu, 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 combined bus interchange and Otahuhu Train Station. The new transport centre opened on 29th October 2016 as a joint Auckland Transport and New Zealand Transport Association initiative costing NZ$28M.

"The station is at the heart of the Southern New Network, says Auckland Transport’s Chief AT Metro Officer, Mark Lambert. “Auckland is moving towards a more connected network of local feeder services connecting with frequent bus and train services. Bus and train transport hubs like Ōtāhuhu are at the heart of this transformation."

The old bus interchange, which was badly neglected, and had received increased attention from early 2011 on for vandalism/graffiti prevention measures is now closed and a smaller bus stop has been installed on the main road near the town centre.

The importance for transportation extended to pre-European times. The aptly named Portage Road runs across the isthmus in Ōtāhuhu and was used by Māori to move their waka (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.

Present day

Ōtāhuhu nowadays is synonymous with industry and along with its neighbouring suburbs Favona, Mangere East, Mt Wellington, Penrose and Westfield forms an industrial conglomerate zone that spans much of the Mangere Inlet. The community and town centre flourishes as the crossroad to Central and South Auckland and is home to a sizable Pacific Island populace.

Sport and recreation

Ōtāhuhu is home to the Ōtāhuhu Rugby Football Club and the Ōtāhuhu 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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