Makara Model School

Makara's Little Secret

Where is Makara?

Makara was, and still is today, a little country village near Karori in Wellington. Makara was part of the high Parochial District of Porirua. The Makara community began in 1840. At that time Makara didn't have any roads until South Makara was begun in 1859. Up until this time the only way out of Makara was by sea or use of the Māori tracks. The population at that time was around 30 people and their children.

During the 1860s, the settlement of Makara took shape. There were several families led by men who had an excellent education in England which created the desire for the same for their children. The main income came from the sale of stock, and from labouring as shearers on other stations.

The 1860s were also important for the discovery of alluvial gold which led thousands of men to the district. The increase of population at this time helped the community get the services it wanted. South Makara even boasted a hotel called 'The Miner's Arms', which became quite a lively place.

By the turn of the century more farms had been cleared, and the farmers concentrated more on the manufacturing and selling of butter and milk. In 1938 there were about 20 dairy farms recorded in the district.


Student with horse.

The population grew to 360 by the mid 1960s. To cope with the increased population an extra room was built at the school, the village shop was made bigger and the local garage extended. Ten years earlier, a shop at the beach was opened to cater especially for weekend and holiday customers.

The Makara population is ever-changing. Today most people who live in Makara drive into the city to work and shop. This of course has changed the need for the village shop and garage, both of which have since closed but the buildings still remain. Makara Beach is still a haven for weekend drivers and skin diving and fishing enthusiasts. The 'shop' at the beach is now a restaurant continuing to cater to weekend and holiday customers.

There are several other attractions in Makara that lure visitors to our area. The Makara Cemetery, Pony Club, Golf Club, the old Makara Radio Station (now closed) and several great hiking and cycling trails all draw continued interest to the territory.

Today the Makara population is smaller than in the past, but a strong community bond still remains. Many local events are held in our community hall which was built in the 1950's. There are still several farms in operation but the majority of our parents earn an income outside of Makara. After school we have after-school activities like ballet, Keas, Brownies, swimming and the computer. Other favourite pastimes for us include horseback and motorbike riding, fishing, diving and building forts. Every Tuesday a bunch of the Makara school students play basketball.