Photo stories

Meet the locals

Captain Sanderson: a visionary among the Paekākāriki dunes

Conservation visionary Captain E.V (Val) Sanderson devoted much of his life to preserving Aotearoa New Zealand’s unique flora and fauna. Judith Galtry profiles this tenacious and committed man, a one-time resident of Paekākāriki, where he restored his property to native bush and from where he could keep a keen eye on Kāpiti Island’s burgeoning bird population.

End of an era: haere rā to the Surf Lifeguards clubroom

McKenzie Jones has been part of the Paekākāriki Surf Lifeguards for 18 years. At the recent closing ceremony of the old club building, McKenzie shares her farewell speech full of rich memories and fulfilling experiences of her years with the club.

Heylo at the Crafty Christmas Market

Gina Goad wants her new jewellery range, Heylo, to pack a punch – but she’s not trying to pick a fight.  It’s more of a dirty little secret. The Paekākāriki Community Trust profiles Heylo ahead of their annual Christmas Market at St Peter’s Hall – check them out along with all the other crafty goodness this Saturday.

Behold The Live New Things

After an explosive beginning, Paekākāriki band The New Things go live in their founding village September 24 and Wellington October 7. Here’s Mark Amery with the words and radio interview, Kirsten Drysdale with the camera.

Pae Kai: ka pai kai!

Dayll McCahon had a vision to help feed community members in times of need. She tells how this vision came to fruition with the creation of Pae Kai and its delicious meals.

The Last Shear & More

‘The Last Shear & More’ exhibition at the Paekākāriki Station Museum honours the Smith and Perkins families who farmed land locally for 150 years. Dave Johnson, Station Master, worked with the families and Bride Coe, whose photos of the last shear at the Perkins farm in 2011 feature in the exhibition.

Margaret Griffiths: doing what needed to be done

Janet Holborow and Lynda Wards pay tribute to Margaret Griffiths, a dedicated, hard-working member of our community and tireless crusader for people who needed some help in life.

Paekākāriki Potty about Potters: Neil Gardiner

This village on the Kāpiti Coast is becoming known for its ceramics, with a clutch of artists taking to the wheel. Neil Gardiner’s time as a potter here goes back to the establishment of Paekākāriki Pottery in the early 1990s – but he began in the wild wood kiln-making days of the early ’70s. He talks to Te Pae to tell us about his journey with clay.

Intelligible Cities: An interview with David Groves

Fantasically, ‘Intelligible Cities’, a new book by Paekākāriki resident David Groves, sees Marco Polo and Emperor Kublai Khan discussing the weird and wacky ways in which the inhabitants of 26 cities communicate with strangers who arrive at their gates speaking an unknown language. 

Living with Covid in France

Kerren Hedlund shares her experience of living in a small village in France where almost all the residents contracted Covid-19, including her family of four.

New Wai Ata studio offers creative classes for taitamariki

Mishy Vieira explores the recently-opened Wai Ata music studio based in the old weavers’ whare in the Tilley Rd reserve. Find out what exciting musical opportunities are on offer, for our taitamariki (young people) and adults alike.

Poets Dinah Hawken and Alison Glenny

Two very fine Paekākāriki poets have issued exceptional new volumes in 2021, so we wanted to share these works with you with some spoken word readings, an interview and two selected poems.

Paekākāriki’s Fly by Wire ride

Despite damage and Covid-19 restrictions, the Fly By Wire adrenalin-filled ride continues to operate. Located above Paekākāriki in a bushy valley, the current owner/inventor Neil Harrap, takes us on a trip through his sometimes rocky years at the wheel.

The Paekākāriki Pops journey

Paekākāriki Pops started from small beginnings and is going from yummy-goodness strength-to-strength. Amy Delahunty tells us about their journey.

Carol Reihana – A life of service to others

Janet Holborow (Kāpiti Coast District Councillor and Deputy Mayor) in conversation with Bonny Ranfurly about her beloved sister (and community member) kuia Carol Reihana (1945-2021). Haere atu rā e te kuia, Carol.

Pearl and Florrie’s Musical Mural

An exciting new project is about to be unveiled in the village. Kāpiti’s Phill Simmonds revitalises the gripping story of Pearl Mills, Florrie Ward and an angry bull in a graphic art mural at the end of Beach Road. The mural will be launched on 12 December 2021.

Haere atu rā e te kuia Carol Reihana

Jack McDonald remembers Aunty Carol Reihana who recently passed away. Carol (Ngāti Haumia) was a cherished kuia, a stalwart of the community and her memory will remain in our hearts.

Never Grows Old: Nada Mills

We publish Francis Mills’ address at a service in November 2021 on their property at Cecil Road, Paekākāriki, for his much-loved wife, Nada Mills.

Making Friends with Honey Flower

Julia Wawrzyniak recently opened Honey Flower & Friends in a tiny gallery at the end of the Holtom Building. Her philosophy encompasses nature and organic processes, along with working in a collective.

Remembering Tony Taylor

Michael O’Leary has written a fitting tribute to Tony Taylor, a man of great enthusiasm, knowledge, compassion and integrity.

The Perching Parrot takes on Dark Horse

The Perching Parrot cafe has been part of Paekākāriki village life for almost a decade. Nicole Duke shares her coffee journey and why she switched to local coffee roaster, Dark Horse.

The Sea Goddesses

Taking inspiration from the incredible Paekākāriki Mermaids, the Sea Goddesses take the plunge to shake off the demands of daily life.

Picturing our Changing World

Paekākāriki’s Felix Pharand Deschênes is playing a major role in helping define the visual narrative of the Anthropocene — the age we are now said to inhabit, a time when we as humans are exerting more influence over the planet’s environment than any other element.

The Paekākāriki Mermaids

All over the world, people are taking to frigid seas, lakes and rivers ‘like fish to water’. Paekākāriki has a couple of brave groups that swim in the sea all year round. This article profiles The Paekākāriki Mermaids.


Birds of a feather flock together: Forest & Bird celebrated

In late April 2023, Paekākāriki buzzed with excitement and activities commemorating 100 years of Forest & Bird | Te Reo of Te Taiao. Captain Val Sanderson, a pioneering conservationist, featured prominently in the celebrations.

Paekākāriki Surf Lifesavers to the rescue!

In the wake of Cyclone Gabrielle in February, Paekākāriki Surf Lifesaving Club deployed four of their members to help the search and rescue efforts in Hawkes Bay. Fiona Bailey tells us how it unfolded.

Fundraising for our regional gallery with a film that reveals NZ’s rich arts in education history

The Mahara Gallery in Waikanae continues to fundraise for their exciting new refurbishment due to open in 2023. St Peter’s Hall in Paekākāriki will host their film fundraiser, ‘The HeART of the Matter’, a documentary which profiles the ground-breaking post WWII educational shift that brought art and craft to the heart of schools in Aotearoa New Zealand. Fiona Gunter-Firth tells us more.

Responding to the Paekākāriki Stoat!

Predator Free Paekākāriki was recently awarded a local conservation grant by Wellington Zoo to set up community trapping lines around the village, including Campbell Park. Maree White tells us more.

Art wonderful art

The Paekākāriki Art Show is a major fundraiser for St Peter’s Village Hall and a must-see event on the local cultural calendar. Held this Waitangi Weekend (Friday 3 until Monday 6 February 2023), Julie Warren reflects on the success of the show and those who make it possible.

New QEP tracks open the park to regeneration and recreation

In great news for walkers, cyclists and horse riders formerly farmed areas of Kāpiti’s Queen Elizabeth Park have been opened to the public following the completion of 7.5 km of new tracks to the park’s northern section. Greater Wellington Regional Council tells us all about it.

Beyond Transmission Gully: the future of Beach Rd

The Paekākāriki Station Museum received a grant from KCDC to ask the community how Transmission Gully will affect the village. You are invited to participate in a facilitated discussion to help shape the future of Beach Road.

The Paekākāriki Wind Generation Project

Wind electricity power generation in this region is a viable sustainable option. Graeme Mills updates us on a proposed Paekākāriki wind generation project that has been in development for the last eight years.

Update on SH59 coast road closure

Wellington Transport Alliance is the highway maintenance partnership of Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, Fulton Hogan and WSP engineering consultants. Here is an update on the repair work required for SH59 between Fishermans Table and Pukerua Bay.

Beware the kororā!

Vivienne Jeffs asks us to look out for our local taonga, the kororā (little blue penguin), as they come ashore to nest and reminds us how we can help protect them.

Predator Free Paekākāriki – got a trap?

Predator Free Paekākāriki traps rodents and records the results. They need your help to do this – you could even win $30 worth of goodies from Paekākāriki Fruit Supply. Maree White and Amelia Geary update us on Predator Free Paekākāriki’s latest trapping news from around the village and their upcoming event.

Paekākāriki Surf Lifesaving needs your help!

Karen Simpson provides an illuminating overview of the history and function of the Paekākāriki Surf Lifesaving Club. In continuous operation since 1913, saving many lives and providing numerous community services, the Club is now in desperate need of a new building. This is where the community comes in – it’s time to give back to this essential organisation to ensure its survival.

Matariki plant-a-thon

Megan Salole on a change of name for Paekākāriki’s Matariki planting project with a useful kōrero around the appropriate use of te ao Māori concepts. Buy a pack, and/or join others in the community at Wai Ata this Friday 24 June at 9am to help restore our natural habitat.

Do the stingray shuffle!

When walking in the sea, swish your feet along the bottom, urges Mark Amery. You’ll avoid crab bites, flounder slips or even – with freakish bad luck – a gash from a scared whai repo’s tail.

Unveiling the Mural on the Weaver’s Whare

Read Paranahia Broughton’s kōrero around the development and unveiling of the beautiful new mural on the Weaver’s whare/ Wai Ata studio. Dedicated to Ngāti Haumia ki Paekākāriki’s Kuia Miriona, a huge mihi goes out to the artists, Anthony Paaka and Ryan Daly-Paranihi for their awesome mahi.

Paekākāriki History Walk launched

The recently launched Paekākāriki History Walk by the Station Precinct Trust adds new layers to our village’s telling of its local history. Bride Coe looks behind the scenes at the making of the walk, which will feature in the Directory of Everything, ‘Walks & rides’ section on paekākā shortly.

We’re bent but we’re not broken!

Although 2021’s Paekākāriki Pride festivities have been cancelled due to Level 2, the newly formed Paekākāriki Pride Inc Committee is determined to connect and celebrate people for pride. Val Little lets us know what is happening and how you can be involved.

Growing Green Tamariki at Paekākāriki School

Hannah Zwartz, long-time Paekākāriki School parent, member of the School Garden Group and Potty Potters, talks about an exciting new project coming up at our kura along with the year-long work done to support the school’s gardening curriculum.

Our Community Bought Another House

The community of Paekākāriki have bought a second house to provide housing for local whānau. Mark Amery reports on the Paekākāriki Housing Trust’s activities from their recent annual hui.

Kia Kaha Burma, with love from Paekākāriki

Paekākāriki, amongst many stand-out qualities, is likely the smallest town outside Burma to have its own support group. KT Julian tells us about this group’s important mahi and her personal experience of living there.

In Praise of…Helpers!

St Peter’s Hall recently held their annual fundraising Book Fair. And it couldn’t be done without the help of all the volunteers! Ian Clark from the Paekākāriki Community Trust pays tribute to you all.

Get Hitched

Hitch is an exciting new carbon-reducing commuting scheme starting up in Wellington. Paekākāriki has been chosen to trial this car-sharing initiative and you can be part of it.

Creative non-fiction

The Ballad of the Triple Track proudly presents the second in its commissioned series of creative writing to go with our walks. In an epic poem, itself like a track, Michael O’Leary writes historically and contemporaneously about the the three tracks between Paekākāriki and Pukerua Bay. This series sees our writers paid through funding from the Creative Communities scheme.


Denis Glover: A poet’s life in Paekākāriki

Quite the character, get a tantalising glimpse of one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s best known poets Denis Glover’s life in Paekākāriki – then read Judith Galtry’s full article on Xplore Paekākāriki


Paekākāriki Beach Rat Patrol

Paekākāriki resident, Birnie Duthie, enjoys checking and clearing the predator traps that help protect our kororā (little blue penguins).

The Paekākāriki seawall renewal: phase one

Tim Barlow is lead concept developer for the artwork that will accompany the first stage of the renewed seawall. He updates us on where the project is at, how mana whenua and others are involved and the kaupapa behind the mahi.

Official Stuff Stories

Community boards are the flax roots of communities – have your say

Community boards are a key way for Councils to keep in touch with the flax roots of the communities they represent. Kāpiti Coast Councillors want to uproot this. Paekākāriki Community Board chair Holly Ewens shares her thoughts on proposed changes that will affect how these boards operate.


Running for a cause

Help former Paekākāriki resident Noa Woolloff with his ambitious, generous gesture to raise much-needed funds to get his friend the life-saving cancer treatment he needs.

Introducing jazz musician Lucien Johnson

A native of Pukerua Bay, jazz musician, saxophonist and artist Lucien Johnson left the coast in his 20s for Paris and beyond, forming a free jazz trio. Mark Amery talks to Lucien on Paekākāriki 88.2FM ahead of his gig at St Peter’s Hall on Sunday 19 June 2022.

Introducing musician Miles Calder

Andrew Armitage speaks with Miles Calder on Paekākāriki 88.2FM ahead of his gig on Saturday June 4 at St Peter’s Hall. As part of a national tour, Calder goes on to play at San Fran in Wellington on Saturday 11th June and The Wine Cellar in Auckland on Saturday 2nd July.



paekākā is pleased to introduce the first in a series of creative responses from local writers. In this one, Dani Deluka accompanies the Wainui Stream walk. The series is funded by the Kāpiti Coast District Council’s Creative Communities Scheme.