Newton Central School

Ngā wai o Tamaki: Auckland's rivers


Wai-a-te-ao is named after a person called Te Ao, and is now called Motion's Creek. It starts at Te Uru Karaka (Basque Park) ...

Basque Park (Te Uru Karaka) where the Wai-a-te-ao begins.

...and flows under the motorway, goes behind Motat...

The Wai-a-te-ao where it comes out from underground behind MOTAT.

...where it's connected to Western Springs, and then comes out beside Meola Reef. It flows through the zoo and once, when it flooded, some of the hippos escaped into Motion's Creek.

Behind the zoo the Wai-a-te-ao runs through parkland

A local person remembered catching eels in the Wai-a-te-ao and the water was clean enough to swim in.

The Wai-a-te-ao where it enters the Waitemata Harbour.

Western Springs had clean, clear spring water, and eels lived in the river. After the Pākehā people came the area was part of a piece of land owned by a Scottish person called William Motion, which is why the creek is called Motion's Creek. As Auckland City grew they bought William Motion's flour mill and 120 acres including the creek because Auckland needed fresh water.