Wainuiomata is a suburban town located within the city limits of Lower Hutt - and part of the greater Wellington urban area - in the lower North Island of New Zealand. It is located six kilometres to the southeast of the Lower Hutt CBD, and has a population of around 16,000.Wainuiomata is isolated enough from the rest of the city by the Eastern Hutt Hills to be considered a town in its own right by most New Zealanders, and was officially a separate district for about a year until local government reorganisation in 1989.The isolated nature of the Wainuiomata valley was a problem for early settlers. Narrow hill routes into the settlement were the only access during the 1850s and 1860s. Later proposals were made for rail access to the valley, but never realised. The town's economy in these early days was largely based around timber milling from the forests around the Wainuiomata River. A flax mill was based around the north of the town, but this proved to be economically unviable.Once the forests started to be cleared, sheep and dairy farming became an important part of the local economy. The settlement started to grow into a proper town in the 1920s, but the major growth was after World War II, when many young couples moved to the valley, attracted by the affordable housing.The town is surrounded on three sides by hills. The topography reduces local wind flow resulting in lower minimum temperatures in winter and higher maximum temperatures in summer, than most other parts of Wellington and the Hutt Valley.Wainuiomata maintains a very strong community spirit, and residents can access a wide range of local retail and community services.The town is known for its enthusiasm for sports, particularly rugby. The Australian NRL Grand Final in 2005 saw each team containing a former member of the Wainuiomata Rugby League Club. The town's sports enthusiasts related to an incident that attracted national media attention in April 2009 when a Palmerston North motelier banned all Wainuiomata residents. This came after a series of misdemeanours by visitors from there. The town is also known widely for the first series of Seven Periods with Mr Gormsby, which was shot in the old Wainuiomata College with many cast members being local residents.The Orongorongo Valley is accessed via the Wainuiomata Valley and is well known for its bush walks and native scenery.Amongst the many sports stars originating from Wainuiomata are rugby union All Blacks Piri Weepu, Neemia Tialata and Tana Umaga.Wainuiomata has a volunteer fire brigade, established in 1944, following a major house fire in 1943. The first superintendent was Mr J.S.Dunn. The first station was built in 1945 on land opposite Wainuiomata Primary School. The land and timber was donated by the Wainuiomata Development Company, with other brigades and companies donating hose, standpipes and ladders. A Gwynne Trailer pump was supplied by the Stokes Valley brigade. In the early days, the pump and trailer were towed to calls by any vehicle that was available. Often this was a 30 seater bus, as one of the foundation members, Mr Artie Kilmister, was the local bus driver. In 1946 the brigade took delivery of its first "real" fire engine. A Ford V8 Marmon Herrington 4 wheel drive. This truck was an ex Air Force tender and remained in service until 1965. It had no flashing lights, only a siren and on occasions this failed, it was not unusual for members to yell from the truck "get out of the way", or words to that affect. The Wainuiomata Volunteer Fire Brigade joined the United Fire Brigades Association of New Zealand (UFBA) in 1944.