Waiake - Torbay History

In the early 1800s, the village of Waiake contained a number of almost permanent Maori residents, with many whares and a small whare hui (meeting house). The area of Waiake (meaning ‘water from below’ or spring) was visited by many, anxious to take advantage of the curative waters from the spring. It was believed that the Waiake spring contained strange health ingredients which would cure some ailments. At one time up to 800 Maori were known to be ‘taking the waters’. Sometimes referred to as Te Toroa, the earliest evidence of Maori occupation dates from about the 15th century.

With the arrival of European settlers, a wine making company was established in the area, as well as a flax mill and saw mill at the bottom of what is now known as Rock Isle Road. Tobacco growing was also experimented with. Local supplies of flax were available from the land around Browns Bay. When this was exhausted the settlers turned to milling kauri logs brought in by scow from the Coromandel and around the Hauraki Gulf, and pine trees planted in the area 25 years previously.

In 1863 and 1865, Mr Vaughan purchased land in the Deep Creek area. Sheep and cattle farming were undertaken on the land as well as some efforts at dairying. Early settlers in the area made use of the creek to learn to swim and to sail dinghies up to a waterfall which has since gone. Residents used to catch eels in the stream.

Most development in the catchment occurred following the opening of the Auckland Harbour Bridge in 1959 and the area is now fully developed. By the middle of the 2oth century, land use in the catchment had come to compromise of 41% rural, 35% residential, 20% bush and 4% road. Deep Creek stream has been heavily modified during urbanisation of the catchment and retains little natural character.

In 1971 there were 744 dwellings in the area. This grew substantially in the 30 years following to 2520 dwellings by 2001. Current land use in the catchment consists of 78% low density residential, 17% road, 4% open space, 0.4% commercial, 0.1% bush and 0.1% high density residential. The population of the Torbay area was recorded as 4,554 in the 2006 Census