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Paraparaumu is the administrative and commercial centre of the Kapiti coast, 52km north-east of Wellington. At Paraparaumu Beach the view is dominated by Kapiti Island, a world famous bird sanctuary 5 kilometres offshore. Visitors leave from here to visit the island.

Meaning of place name
Parapara: scraps or waste fragments; umu: earth oven. It is said that a famished war party, having captured the village, could find only a few scraps of food in the empty ovens.