About Us

Caring for the Inlet


Throughout New Zealand, Kiwis are actively taking care of their local environment. Sometimes supported by grants from local and regional councils, and often working on the smallest of budgets, individuals and community organisations are doing their best to ensure a healthy and sustainable future for the environment. a


Guardians of Pāuatahanui Inlet, a registered charity, was set up in 1991. We are a community group, largely funded by member subscriptions. For specific activities, such as cleaning up the inlet or running our annual photographic competition, we receive assistance from Porirua City Council and sponsorship from local businesses. Everyone in GOPI is a volunteer.


We develop policies on matters that affect the Pāuatahanui Inlet, we make submissions to local, regional and central Government, and we provide opportunities for residents and visitors to care for and celebrate the Inlet.




What does Pāuatahanui mean?


The logo of Guardians of Pāuatahanui Inlet includes a cockle, which is of course an iconic image for the Inlet. When choosing an image for our logo, we investigated the meaning of 'Pāuatahanui', looking for an appropriate image within the name of the Inlet we work for.


Interestingly, we found that the meaning is not yet settled. Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (Māori Language Commission) suggests it could mean a large calabash for storing paua; a large shellfish; a fish hook with a piece of paua shell inserted to attract fish; or a variety of large kumara.


A macron (the mark above a letter such as ā or ō) changes the meaning of a word. So Pāuatahanui means a large shellfish but Pāuātahanui means a large kumara.


The Commission believes that local Māori have the knowledge to decide on the true meaning; as yet there is no definitive decision. We thought that even if 'a large shellfish' is only one possible meaning, cockles are essential to Inlet health and therefore a highly appropriate symbol for us to choose.




Last Updated: 01/09/2016 9:37pm