Backing onto bush-clad hills, Papakowhai (Maori for "land covered by kowhai trees") was developed from the early 1970s and quickly became a refuge from the rat race. Today it's a pretty, quiet suburb of curving cul-de-sacs named after Scottish rivers and bordered by mature trees, with not so much as an overgrown lawn or an untrimmed hedge. Papakowhai is a coveted address because of its green, well-established neighbourhoods, quality housing, sunny outlook, panoramic views, excellent primary school, and its proximity to the motorway, shops, outdoors and amenities. It can also claim as its own Porirua's premier reserve, Aotea Lagoon, whose paved walkway, duck pond, rose garden, petanque court, playgrounds and train rides draw families from all over Porirua. Just up the hill, The Royal New Zealand Police College and its trainees' barracks cement that feeling of safety, serenity and security.