ArchitecturePaekakariki is a narrow island-platform station building, with almost identical platform elevations, and consists of a main structure adjoining a smaller section of similar dimensions (formerly the refreshment rooms). It has a flat-pitched corrugated-iron roof and rusticated weatherboard cladding. Verandahs run almost the length of both elevations. Decoration is minimal and the building's appearance is enhanced by features such as the four-panelled doors and sash windows (now boarded up) placed regularly along both elevations. There are small sash windows at the north end. The interior has been much altered, but retains some original fittings and joinery.
HistoryThe Wellington and Manawatu Railway opened as far as Paekakariki in September 1886. The first station was probably built prior to this. The railway was bought by the government in 1908 and immediately Railways decided to replace the station building. A plan was approved in early 1909 and the building was expected to cost £2000. The Post Office sought space in the building to conduct its business but was turned down. A large refreshment room was added to the design while a goods shed, foot-warmer shed and new signalling completed a substantial revamp of the station. Doubling of the track and electrification as far as Paekakariki were finished in 1940 and three years later the station had its busiest period with the arrival of American troops stationed at nearby MacKays Crossing. Inter-island freight through Paraparaumu airstrip provided much of the station's traffic in the post-war yeans until the completion of Wellington Airport in 1959. In 1957, at a cosy of £3500, the station was remodelled inside with doors, fireplaces and walls removed and counters and partitions installed. In 1972 Steam Incorporated established its base in the yard and since then has restored a number of steam locomotives and carriages for main line running. Paekakariki remains in use for passenger traffic and operating purposes.
Architectural SignificancePaekakariki is a fine example of an island-platform station and one of the oldest extant. It is similar in breadth and detail, but not length, to Wingatui. The building's significance is enhanced by its role in one of the country's finest collections of associated station structures, a number of which are original.
Historical SignificanceEstablished as a stop on the privately owned Wellington and Manawatu Railway, Paekakariki has been in active use for over 80 years. It has much social importance for its association with American troops stationed at MacKays Crossing during World War II, and with rail-air freight operations at Paraparaumu airport. It has had an indelible and unique association with railways for over a century.
Town / Landscape ValuePaekakariki occupies a prominent situation close to SH1, and the station and associated structures are a familiar sight to both road and rail users.