Tawa takes its name from the native Tawa tree (Beilschmiedia tawa) which once covered the area. The name Tawa Flat was first used in 1854 in the Wellington Provincial Gazette. In the 1941 Local Body elections, Tawa Flat was part of Makara County, which also included Porirua and Titahi Bay.
In 1953 Tawa Flat and Linden became an independent borough. After rapid housing expansion in the 1950s outside the Tawa Flat area, the name was changed (on Feb 23, 1959) to the Borough of Tawa. The Tawa Borough Council negotiated for its own water and sewage system to accommodate its expansion into Redwood and Linden. On the 3 October 1988 the Local Government Commission indicated the Borough of Tawa would be amalgamated with Wellington City.
Built in 1944 as a women's borstal, Arohata was the first purpose built women's prison. In 1981 it changed functions to become a youth prison, and later a women's prison again, which contained the national female facility for drug rehabilitation.
"The Bucket Tree" is another significant landmark in Tawwa and is well over a hundred years old. Its shape was probably originally pruned by young immigrant Frederick Westbury in the 1880s, who worked for the land owner, William Earp.
Tawa has many community events including Spring Into Tawa, The Tawa Popup Market and many more.
Sports are also a big part of the Tawa Community. There are many sports including Swimming, Rugby, Football, Squash and more.
These things bring the community is brought closer together and make it more friendly and enjoyable.