Papakura is a city in the Auckland region of New Zealand, located between the Manukau Harbour and the Franklin District just south of Manurewa. It is one of the five councils that make up the larger area of Auckland.
Situated on the southern edge of Auckland's urban sprawl, Papakura is where town meets country. It is flanked by the southern reaches of the Manukau Harbour to the west, and farmland to the east. The town has a vibrant industrial zone in Takanini, adequate shopping in the town centre, and rural tranquillity on the outskirts of town. The nearby Hunua Ranges has a waterfall and forested walking tracks, where deer have been sighted. Papakura has no major river, but water is supplied from reservoirs in the Hunua Ranges' miniature "rainforest".
The town's name originates from Maori words papa-kura meaning "red earth", reflecting the rich, fertile soil upon which the community was founded. The indigeneous residents are Maori, who built a Pa named "Puke Kiwiriki", at the top of Red Hill. The site has a panoramic view of the approaches to Papakura.
Papakura has two high schools, Rosehill College (http://intranet.rosehill-college.co.nz/main.asp) and Papakura High School (http://www.papakurahigh.school.nz/index.html) (NB: external links), an Olympic pool, a high quality athletics track, and convenient rail transport to Auckland City (a rare treasure, to anyone familiar with Auckland's benighted traffic congestion).
One of the town's favourite sons is Edmund Hillary; although born in Tuakau he was a schoolteacher in Papakura after his Himalayan triumph. A famous daughter is Coralie Warburton (http://www.soulpurpose.co.nz/mag/2000/7-spring/7_2000_coralie.shtml)
In New Zealand, the Papakura District is a municipality in the Auckland region. Papakura City is the seat of the Papakura District Council, serving a population of 40,665 as of the 2001 census. It is divided into four wards (http://www.papakura.govt.nz/wards.htm); Ardmore, Drury, Red Hill, and Pahurehure.