Pauanui is a popular holiday destination located at the mouth of the south bank of the Tairua River directly opposite Tairua. With an estimated summer holidaymaker population of over 15,000, Pauanui is known for its fabulous holiday homes. The village has a fixed population of approximately 750.
The area has a history dating back to the turn of last century when there were only a few people living and farming in Pauanui, notably the Oxley and Needham families. At that time the only access to the area was by boat.
In 1967 the Hopper brothers formed a company called Pauanui Ocean Beach Resort Limited and purchased the first block of 256 acres of land from the Needham Family. The brothers first constructed an airstrip to help with access and planning. Frank Easdale, a well-known town planner worked with the brothers to develop the first stage of a development incorporating modern features like underground power, dual carriageway roads with central islands, a reticulated sewage system and a generous reserve areas. The village has grown steadily ever since.