Helensville is located on a hillside above the Kaipara River at the southern end of the Kaipara Harbour. The town is 38 miles north-west of Auckland by rail and 30 miles by road.
Helensville is a shopping and servicing centre for a widely scattered rural population engaged in dairying and sheep farming. A dairy factory in the town produces dried milk powder and cheese. Other industries include general engineering, the manufacture of concrete products, and sawmilling. At Parakai, 2 miles north of Helensville, is the attractive Helensville Hot Springs Domain.
Helensville came into being in 1863 as a port associated with the kauri timber trade. For many years it was the headquarters for a steamship service running to Dargaville and to several lesser ports around the shores of the Kaipara Harbour. The decline of the timber trade, improved roads, and the extension of the railway to Dargaville led to the termination of trans-harbour shipping services in 1940. Helensville was named after Mrs Helen McLeod, wife of an early settler. In 1883 it was constituted a town district, and in 1947 was accorded borough status.
POPULATION: 1951 census, 1,110; 1956 census, 1,151; 1961 census, 1,215.
by Brian Newton Davis, M.A., Vicar, St. Philips, Karori West, Wellington and Edward Stewart Dollimore, Research Officer, Department of Lands and Survey, Wellington.