including Oranga, Te Papapa and Penrose

Suburb Specialists

In recent years this long-settled area has become popular with professional first home buyers who simply can’t afford anything decent nearer the CBD. Its old villas and bungalows offered charm (and endless weekends of DIY…) at a reasonable price, with generous sections and a close-knit community. Onehunga was recognised as being handy for most things; two motorways, Cornwall Park, the airport, Newmarket’s shops, the beaches of the Eastern Bays and 15-minutes to the CBD. Of course, the inevitable has happened and there aren’t any bargains left in Onehunga anymore – except those at the outlet store complex DressSmart. Oranga, sandwiched between Onehunga and One Tree Hill, is a down-at-heel version of Onehunga. Te Papapa and Penrose are primarily industrial and commercial.

Who Lives There?

Onehunga’s population is very diverse. Singles love the affordability and the shops, families love the big sections and immigrants love the easy access to some of Auckland’s largest industrial, and therefore employment, areas. That mix gives it a relaxed and unpretentious air. Traditionally Onehunga is solidly working class and has been home to many Maori and Polynesian families over the years, many of whom still live there. A wide range of ethnic groups are represented here – over 50 different nationalities are currently enrolled at One Tree Hill High School. Typical buyers include young double-income professional couples and migrants from Asia, Europe and South Africa. It’s also popular with those who work at the airport but who don’t want to live further south.

Typical Homes

Many of Onehunga’s earliest homes were built by, and for, Fencible soldiers looking to settle with their families on their own patch of land. This suburb is still full of the classic villas, bungalows and worker’s cottages which are much cheaper than those you would find in inner-city suburbs like Ponsonby, and on larger parcels of land. For a long time Onehunga was tipped as the “new Ponsonby” but that’s a bit of an insult for a suburb with such a clearly defined identity. There are also a number of historic properties, including the one-time residence of Governor Grey, in Symonds St. While many of the older homes have already been renovated, there are still occasional vintage homes requiring restoration. More modern housing includes 1950s brick and tile bungalows and contemporary family homes. Weatherboard state houses and ex-state houses are plentiful, as well as stucco duplexes. Infill housing is common and larger properties are increasingly sought after. There are a number of terrace houses which have been built predominantly on industrial land during the past five to 10 years and now an apartment complex, called Atrium on Main.

Population Profile


Aged Under 15 Years 19.66%
Aged Over 65 Years 9.65%
European 52.43%
Maori 8.64%
Pacific Peoples 17.30%
Asian 18.96%