The historic Paremata Barracks
|Local authority||Porirua City Council|
|Railway station(s)||Paremata and Mana|
The modern suburb, just south of Plimmerton, derives its name from the "Paremata Barracks", erected on the north shore of Porirua Harbour in about 1846 when the British Empire was nervous about the local Ngati Toa tribe under its leader Te Rauparaha. The stone barracks were largely destroyed by an earthquake in 1847.
The Wellington and Manawatu Railway Company built a station nearby, towards the end of the 19th century. In 1936 a road bridge finally spanned the entrance to the Pauatahanui Inlet, greatly easing access to Wellington for the growing suburb. After a coast road was built between Pukerua Bay and Paekakariki further north, the route through Paremata became part of State Highway 1. Later developments to ease congestion included the Paremata Roundabout, just south of the road bridge, reducing some of the distress that was occasionally caused at what came to be known as "Glass Corner".
During World War II, United States soldiers were stationed near the barracks, on land that later became the Ngatitoa Domain.
With the building of the new Paremata Railway Station across the inlet, the locality south of the road and rail bridges took on the name Paremata as well. The street along the original shoreline had been known as "The Crescent" for decades, but by the end of the 20th century it was commonly called "Paremata Crescent".
The area to the north, which included a subdivision called "Dolly Varden" (named after a Charles Dickens character), is now called Mana because the new Mana Railway Station a little further north was given that name; probably because it is the first point on the rail journey north at which travellers get a view of Mana Island. Current maps identify the areas to the north of the road & rail bridges as 'Mana' and the areas to the south as 'Paremata', matching the naming of the railway stations and streets.
By the start of the 21st century, several members of the Ngati Toa tribe had served on the Porirua City Council, and the whole locality around the Ngatitoa Domain had become a busy suburb and fishing base with housing and commerce. A new suburb, Papakowhai, has grown on the hills to the south, while the large suburb of Whitby has developed to the east, with its main access via SH58 from the Paremata Roundabout.
In August 2004 a new road bridge was opened for northbound traffic, allowing southbound traffic to use both lanes of the old bridge. This is part of an ongoing project by Transit New Zealand to solve congestion issues and improve safety of motorists, pedestrians and local residents accessing SH1 from side-roads and driveways. By July 2006 a series of traffic lights had been installed along Mana Esplanade, along with two transit lanes. A second feeder roundabout had been constructed on SH58 allowing easier access to Whitby.
- "Paremata Barracks Ruins". Retrieved 15 May 2015.