The Porirua Cemetery has graves dating back to the 1890s. The original records were administered by a trust board, and in 1926, the Makara County Council took control of them. The Porirua City Council took over control of the cemetery register in the early 1980s.
There are nearly 4000 graves in the Porirua Cemetery, many of them unmarked. The cemetery is the resting place for more than 200 former patients of the old Porirua psychiatric hospital. More than 2000 graves date from before 1946. The first burial was that of Charles Crabbe on 13 September 1895.
In earlier days the cemetery was subdivided into blocks depending on religion or if the person was a patient at the hospital. Most in the hospital block were buried there before 1906.