By Chrys Ayley
Once known as the Golden Mile because of the variety of fresh produce outlets Pakowhai has changed over the years and now only a few road side fruit and vegetable stalls remain. The Napier-Hastings expressway relieved pressure by taking away passing traffic although Pakowhai Road, the main thoroughfare, is still a busy road.
The area has its popular small school and has been educating locals for well over 100 years. The school pool is a wonderful asset and often made available to local residents.
The Pakowhai Store offers fresh food, postal services and all fuel requirements including diesel. Directly across the road is the War Memorial Hall which is available for hire by community groups and particularly suited for day time gatherings. Past occupiers have included a church, vintage machinery group and a place for meetings. There is a small bore shooting club with its own range that regularly meets in Pakowhai.
The land here is some of the most fertile on the Heretaunga Plains and is blessed with a good supply of artesian water. It supports a wide range of permanent crops including pip fruit, stone fruit, viticulture, kiwifruit, together with annual process crops for one of the local factories. Many of the land holdings are between 2.0 and 4.0 hectares and are often run as part of a larger enterprise with owners working in either Napier or Hastings.
Other features include the Rotary Pathway which can be accessed at the end of Brookfields Road and follows the Tutaekuri River to Taradale or Awatoto. At the Chesterhope Bridge the second pathway follows the Ngaruroro River to Clive and onto Havelock North. Fishing on both these rivers plus the smaller Tutaekuri Waimate is excellent.
Pakowhai Park, close to Ngauroro [Ngaruroro] River is popular as dogs are allowed off leash. Whatever the season there are pleasant walks along the willow lined Ruapare [Raupare] Stream. There are plenty of native plants, trees and birds and several picnic spots.
Pakowhai is just 6km to Taradale and 10 km to Napier and Hastings. The airport is under 15 minutes away and there’s a regular public bus service along Pakowhai Road.
Overall Pakowhai is an excellent rural location for family living, yet close to city amenities. However, with a population of only 681 on census night 2013, living in 189 dwellings, listings are few and far between. Currently there is one lifestyle property in Gilbertson Road on the market. With 4 bedrooms, two bathrooms, a 3 bedroom cottage, an orchard and 12 ha of land, including 5ha of cropping land the price is by negotiation.
What to know
Store and gas station, village hall, small bore Shooting club, Rotary Pathways, fishing, Pakowhai Country Park, plant nursery, café.