Johnsonville is one of Wellington’s most historic suburbs, only 10 minutes from Wellington’s CBD, just off State Highway 1; also handy for Lower Hutt and Porirua.
There are still a number of early settler houses, often marked by clusters of macrocarpa trees. Originally called Johnson’s Crossing, it was the second of Sir George Grey’s stockades during the campaign against Te Rauparaha in 1846 (the first stockade was Sentry Box Hill in Khandallah, now known as Box Hill). The Old Coach Road was built around 1857, the first practical access to Ohariu Valley; it’s recognized as one of the best preserved horse-era roads in New Zealand and has a Category I Historic Places listing. From 1912 Johnsonville’s water was supplied by the Ohariu Dam until the area was connected to the Kaitoke water supply in 1946; the concrete dam and other remains are still visible.
Johnsonville Shopping Centre
is the commercial hub of the Northern Suburbs. 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 about 6,500 at the 2001 census.
Johnsonville is a reasonably large residential and commercial suburb. It is the northern terminus of the Tranz Metro dedicated electric passenger rail line to central Wellington and also has a bus hub at the railway station, which supports the large commuter population in the surrounding suburbs. 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 has a good infrastructure and is self-sufficient; it has its own shopping mall, two supermarkets, a library and a good number of other retail outlets.
Johnsonville is home to Onslow College, a relatively large high decile co-educational high school, Raroa Normal Intermediate and several primary schools. Johnsonville has a mix of housing from 19th century cottages and homesteads to 1950's state homes to modern infill apartments and townhouses.
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 of the city's central business district. 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. See the council website for more info.
There is a proposal in place that would see the current retail space almost triple along with redevelopment of the transport hub.
Info compiled by David Garratt of Guardian First National.
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