Our History

The original Maori name for St Heliers was Whanga-Nui, meaning 'Large Bay' and it was here, at local Karaka Bay, on 4 March 1840 that the Treaty of Waitangi was signed by representatives of Queen Victoria and the Tamaki Chiefs.
The first block of land purchased in St Heliers was a 116-acre lot bought by Major Thomas Bunbury in 1841, for the splendid sum of one hundred and twenty-one pounds, three shillings and ten pence. In the early days the principal landowner of the district was the Church of England, with the rest of the district divided into three farms.

The area came to be called St Heliers Bay in 1883, because Major Walmsley, the stud Manager of Glen Orchard farm, saw a likeness to St Helier in Jersey.

Between 1881 and 1883 the St Heliers and Northcote Land Company bought and subdivided 600 acres of land, and built the wharf for the twice daily ferry service with Auckland.

By the turn of the century the population of St Heliers was growing, and it became a popular seaside resort for holidays and day trippers coming from the city on the ferries.

In 1915 the first bus service began from St Heliers to Auckland city via Remuera. St Heliers retained much of its village atmosphere throughout the 1920's, but in 1931 the opening of the waterfront Tamaki Drive from St Heliers to Auckland, transformed the bay.

The ferry service had been discontinued some years before and with regular bus services to and from the city, the suburb of St Heliers had a marked increase in population, which has continued to this day.

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