including Ranui, Waitakere and Massey

These suburbs straddle the boundary between urban streets, rolling pasture and the bush-clad foothills of the Waitakere Ranges. This means that the suburban areas benefit from the close proximity of wide open and wild spaces, and those nestled in the country have easy access to urban amenities. A ride through Ranui shows wonderful splashes of colour: the beautiful Summerland Primary School or a green mural on the inside of a railway overpass. Waitakere township has all the charm of a country town. Massey North folk like to call their area Westgate, an area which is considered to be more modern, upmarket and urban than plain old Massey. More young adults are coming into “sleepytown” Swanson now, attracted by affordability, good schools, and the sense that it’s the gateway to the Waitakere Ranges and the western beaches.

Who Lives There?

Swanson’s community reflects the alternative lifestylers who live there – both the creative hippy types and those seeking a less-crowded alternative to the city. Some of them have moved from Titirangi in search of good value homes and more space. Ranui has a solid mix of Maori and Pacific Islanders, as well as a group of environmentally-aware people who live at the Earthsong Eco-Village. Waitakere is popular with larger families and their gaggle of farm animals and household pets, wanting a down-to-earth lifestyle for the children.

Typical Homes

Swanson has a mix of older weatherboard homes and newer brick and tile homes. Ranui has some newer brick and tile houses to complement the area’s original weatherboard homes and the flush of group homes built during the 1960s. In Waitakere, section sizes range from residential on 1012m², semi-rural on 1350m² and rural on large acreages, often sporting a relocated villa or cottage. Massey North, around the Westgate area, has the Rush Creek development built by Fletcher Homes and Universal Homes’ Stonegate enclave. Royal Heights has some architecturally designed homes with views across the upper Waitemata Harbour.

Population Profile


Aged Under 15 Years 26.24%
Aged Over 65 Years 6.96%
European 52.91%
Maori 16.33%
Pacific Peoples 19.01%
Asian 9.95%