Getting in touch

Practice hours are 
Monday - Friday
8am until 5.30pm

Phone: (04) 939 9393

Fax: (04) 939 9390

 

75 Ottawa Road
Ngaio
Wellington 6035

 

2017 Flu Vaccinations.
Please make an appointment
to see the nurse.

 

 

 

About Ngaio Medical Centre

world WThe Ngaio ( Myoporum laetum) is a smallish tree found in coastal and lowland forest areas throughout New Zealand.

The Ngaio tree is very common around Wellington's northern suburbs. It is easily identified by the oil glands of the leaves which are visible when held to the light. The flowers, which usually occur from mid spring to mid summer, are white with small purple spots. The Ngaio tree is the best in the world for climbing, according to our survey of a group of our patients under 13.

Ngaio today shows few remaining traces of the former covering of dense bush which was there in the days of the pioneers 150 years ago. To the west the highest point on the ridge of hill is Otari (or Crow's Nest) 1190 feet above sea level, and more to the north is Kaukau (or Tarikaka), 1465 feet. On a clear day from Kaukau's trig one can look across Cook Strait to the Marlborough Sounds and even distant Mt Taranaki and Mt Ruapehu. The Korimako stream runs through the centre of the valley, and with water from the Karori stream (meeting just below Wadestown's Hanover Street) forms the Kaiwharawhara Stream.

This district was originaly called by the Maori 'Tarikaka' - 'nest of the kaka' after the exceptionally noisy parrot.  'Kaukau' may be derived from this. Onslow College has taken the kaka as one of its symbols. An early map (undated but probably from the early 1840s) however, has the word 'Paerau' over the valley and the hills above Cockayne Road is called the Te Wharau Range (from 'Early Wellington' by Louis E Ward (1928)). There is a small town near Otago's Ranfurly presently called 'Paerau'. 'Paerau' has various meanings In 'Place Names of New Zealand' HarperCollins 2011, the Otago word is reported to translate as 'many steps or ridges'. However, it may also mean an assembly point or a threshold - perhaps a place 'between life and the after life'. The same map shows Johnsonville as 'Clifford's Stockade' or 'Johnson's Clearing' and the hill above Rangoon Street is called 'Mount Misery'. Between the inhabited Kaiwharawhara and Nga-uranga ('the landing place') villages is a settlement called 'Papakawhero' (presumably close to where Onslow Road joins the Hutt Road). Maori probably never lived in the present Ngaio/Khandallah area but there were various tracks such as the track to the ancient Ohariu pa on Makara beach which is today's Awarua Street or Cockayne Road, named after the botanist Dr Leonard Cockayne, one of Ottawa Road's, if not the suburb's, most famous residents.  This road is the continuation of the original Maori track to Porirua, Old Porirua Road, once the main road to the Manawatu. There were also vegetable gardens such as those tendered by the fearful looking Taringakuri (sometimes spelt 'Taringa - Kuri') of Ngati Tama - 'Old Dog's Ear' (only a nickname, thankfully - his real name was Te Kaeaea - 'sparrow hawk' and he was baptised Wikitoa - he was called Taringakuri as he believed he could hear enemy approach by placing an ear to the ground) along today's Kenya Street.  He lived in Kaiwharawhara earning money by carrying people across the stream. Settlers were attracted from the 1840s when Ngaio was by then called the 'Porirua Road District'. A saw mill was built below the present Kenya Street/Crofton Road corner in May 1842 - this was possibly the suburb's first substantial building.

The Cornishman, Captain Edward Daniell, First Gordon Highlanders (75th Regiment), settled in the suburb which he renamed 'Upper Kaiwarra' or more usually 'Kaiwarra' in 1845 (but sometimes, more correctly (as there are no double consonants in the Maori language) called Kaiwharawhara Valley, or 'Valley of Kai-Wharawhara' - as noted by Jerningham Wakefield in 1842), naming his holding 'Trelissick Farm' after his birthplace and building the suburb's first home (in 1843). Captain Daniell had arrived in New Zealand in 1840 after selling his commission and thus being able to buy 1000 acres (for 1000 pounds) from the NZ company (but was given 2,500). He was a member of the Provisional Council and active in the affairs of the early settlement.  He built the 'Bridle Trail' (Old Porirua Road) from Kaiwharra (for 30 pounds). After being called 'Trelissick' or 'Trelissic' the area, from about 1858, took the name 'Crofton' after the house built by Sir Willaim Fox, the future New Zealand Premier (on four separate occasions), on Kenya (formerly Daniell) Street. 'Crofton' was Captain Daniell's mother's maiden name.  Fox, who bought 14 acres from the Captain, was an interesting individual.  Originally from Tyneside, he studied law and emigrated to New Zealand in 1842. This painter and explorer was in the first European party to explore the Wairarapa. He famously called the Treaty of Waitangi 'shallow, flimsy sophistry', arguing that Maoris had the rights only to the lands which they actually inhabited and cultivated and not to the entire country. Early settlers also included a Mr Clifford and a Mr Vavasour and the two brothers, Richard and Matthew Hammond from Yorkshire. They had all arrived in June 1842 on the 'George Fife' from Gravesend and settled on the 'Old Porirua Road'.  The Kaiwharawhara Road (present Ngaio Gorge) was built and the first bullock train traversed it in 1850. A flour mill powered by a waterwheel had been operating by a Charles Schultze in Kaiwharwhara from 1846. This was near the city's oldest stone building is the Wellington City Magazine - built in 1879/80 it was used until 1921, restored in the 1990s and partly destroyed by fire when in 2000 a stolen van, which was hidden inside it, was set on fire. A recommended walk follows the Kaiwharwhara stream from the magazine and surrounding buildings through the Trelissick Park up to the Crofton Downs railway station.

From 1863, a Collegiate School for Boys (later called Crofton College) was opened in 'Crofton' and boys were taught by Walter Martin, an old Etonian. It was later bought by Wilson Littlejohn, a city jeweller, who became a mayor of Onslow Borough Council (which amalgamated with Wellington City in 1919). The school closed in 1873 and Wellington College opened the following year. The house is still occupied as 21 Kenya Street and should not be confused with 'Donisthorpe' over the road at 12 Kenya Street. This house with the well known turret was Ngaio's first architecturally designed house and is the residence of a well know photographer responsible for some of the photographs in this website. 

'Chew Cottage', formerly 'Millwood' at 19 Ottawa Road, was built to resemble a traditional English stone cottage in 1865 on the site of a old mill which was the subject of the first photograph of Ngaio taken in 1864. This was built by John (with support, we suggest, from his wife, Esther) Chew, an engineer from Lancashire. They owned 212 acres of the valley but much of his time was spent milling the abundent forest and their street - Ottawa Road - started its life as a track for his timber. This writer remembers spending much of his youth playing in the Chew Cottage backyard which stretched down Ottawa Road to the lawn where the library is now situated. The backyard continued over the stream to the Cummings Park.  The Chew's neighbours, Christopher and Ellen Aplin, originally from a farm called 'Colway' in Dorsetshire, owned a further 75 acres.  Aplins lived in Colway Street until recently. This valley, over 300 feet above sea level, could be reached by train since 1865 (after having to go through five tunnels). The service was electrified in 1938. To avoid confusion with another 'Crofton' in Marton, the suburb's name was changed to 'Ngaio' in August 1908, possibly because of the Ngaio tree symbol used by the Kilmister family for their wool bales.  1908 also saw the opening of the first 'Ngaio School' above the railway station (before moving to Heke Street in 1911 and to its present site in 1928). Khandallah school opened in 1893 with an attendance of 30. By 1916 the population of Ngaio was recorded as 905 (although the Ngaio Progressive Association, on their website, claims it to have been 1906) while that of Khandallah was 766. The first shop, 'The Crofton Supply Store' founded by the Scrimageour family, run later by the Charles family before being run as 'Lea and Cheverall's Store', opened in 1906 on the Kenya Street/Crofton road corner. This was opposite the first church - the Methodist church which had opened in 1904. The only recently demolished St Johns Church (and Catholic school) in Ngatoto Street was built in 1912 and the prominent Clere 'Normanesque' designed All Saints on Abbott Street followed in 1928. The All Saints tower has become a visual symbol of Ngaio and it would be a tragedy if earthquake regulations forced it to be demolished. 

As more and more residents came to Ngaio more shops were built to supply their needs. Shops were first built around the Crofton Road/Kenya Street corner (Ngaio and Fleetwood, later Higson Stores  and Venn Bros butcher), the railway station (Stringer's Station Store) but after the development of  Railway Settlement, the Ottawa Road shops (Star, later Morgan Stores, Woodward's Stores, McIsacc's Greengocer, Colway Stores (Carrick family) and Welford the butcher) were built. When government houses were built on Casey's farm, the Nairvnville Park stores were established (Craib's Store, Brown's Four Square, Simla Meat Company and Simla Fruit Shop (Mr Chan)). The grocers usually delivered. Milk was delivered until the 1970s and bread delivered until the late 1940s.  None of the Nairnville Park stores remain. 

Like almost all New Zealand communities, Onslow suffered terribly during the two World Wars. According to Wellington Northern Suburbs 1840-1918 (Millward Press 1987), Ngaio, which must have had fewer than 2,000 inhabitants, sent 72 to the first conflict of whom 12 died, while Kaiwharawhara, Khandallah and Johnsonville sent 81, 64 and 84 respectively of whom 14, 7 and 18 did not return. Did any of these young men actually understand why they were fighting? The small memorial stone on Ngaio's Ottawa Road lists the 15 who did not return from the Second World War.

For one reason or another, Ngaio has attracted many notable writers as its residents. Such include Maurice Gee, Barry Crump (who stayed for a relatively long time - for Barry - in Collingwod Street), Michael King (historian), Barbara and Chris Else, and James Baxter. The latter worked as a postie operating from the Ngaio Post Office.

There is little trace of the dense forest that met the eyes of early pioneers. Even the Awarua Street sawmill closed down a couple of years ago. However, hopefully with the help from Karori's Zealandia, the somewhat ill mannered but beautiful and well loved kaka will once again soon be seen flying over and around its 'nest'.

From humble beginnings based in the 'Crofton's' rundown horse stables on Kenya Street in which the permanently on-call doctor would make up to 40 house calls a day and be expected to manage most medical, surgical and obstetric problems without resorting to hospital specialists, the Ngaio Medical Centre has evolved into a practice with five doctors and four practice nurses as well as a range of ancillary health workers. The doctors, nurses and staff pride themselves on offering the highest possible standards of practice.

Services

The Ngaio Medical Centre offers a full range of general practice and primary health care. There are four women and two male doctors each with a variety of postgraduate medical degrees and diplomas. They are all members of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners which insists on a three year maintenance of professional standards accreditation cycle.

The doctors are supplemented with four experienced practice nurses. Their role in family medicine is steadily expanding. Recent structural changes in the Centre's building such as the enlarged treatment area reflect their role.

Ancillary staff include a midwife - Michelle Vincent. Michelle is one of Wellington's most experienced and respected midwives. Dr. Delany was the last GP to oversee intrapartum obstetrics but the centre believes that maternity should, if possible, remain associated with primary medical care.

Dr Tim Halpine is a well know podiatrist from the United States. He offers his services when not playing competitive tennis.

Robyn Curtis is a registered Clinical Psychologist

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