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Our island

Aotea Great Barrier Island is a remote and beautiful island with a diverse, resilient and
independent community characterised by heart and grit. It is made up of Ngāti Rehua
Ngatiwai ki Aotea people, Māori, pioneer families, hippy settlers, new residents, summer
bach owners and descendants of all these groups. We have 939 permanent residents plus
part-time residents with second homes.
We have no reticulated water, power or public transport, running our own power, water,
septic and drainage systems. We value and protect our way of life. We face unique
challenges and are proud of our can do attitude and innovative approach to living on our
island paradise.
Our median age is 54 years; 70 per cent of us own our houses and 44 per cent of us live
alone. We are bicultural with 90 per cent identifying as European and 18 per cent as
Māori. The median full time household income is $31,100 per annum, considerably lower
than the regional median of $76,500, and lowest across all Auckland’s local boards.
We have three primary schools with children of secondary school age moving to the city
for boarding school or enrolling in Te Kura (correspondence school). Our top industries are
accommodation, food and construction.
The island sits near the edge of the Hauraki Gulf with its east coast facing out to the
Pacific and its west coast facing inwards. Ngāti Rehua Ngatiwai ki Aotea are tangata
whenua of Aotea, Hauturu (Little Barrier Island), the Pokohinu Islands (Mokohinau
Islands), and other outlying islands and rocky outcrops.
The landscape is mountainous with an abundance of flora and fauna and spectacular
coastlines. The Department of Conservation (DoC) has established an Aotea Conservation
Park covering nearly 60 per cent of the island and there are other sanctuaries including
Glenfern, Windy Hill and Motu Kaikoura.

(From the Great Barrier Local Board Plan 2017)