West Auckland

About time, why didn’t they do it earlier?

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Someone has?ring barked the kauri in West Auckland.

Protestors trying to save a west Auckland kauri tree say an attempt’s been made to kill it, with one of their number still in the canopy.

The tree’s been ring barked.

Protest organiser Aprilanne Bonar said eight security guards arrived at quarter past six this morning – three of them with chainsaws. ?? Read more »

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Council squabbles miss the real story

Auckland Councillors squabbling like old hens isn’t anything new. Nor are the barbed jibes about past decisions. So to see Councillor Chris Darby come out to rain on Penny Hulse about Auckland’s newest shopping mall isn’t exactly news.

A crowd larger than a full-capacity Eden Park poured through Auckland’s newest mega-mall on just one day last week – and left Auckland councillors at each other’s throats over it.

One councillor, Chris Darby, went as far as to dub the vast new $160 million NorthWest as “the anchor of more sprawl, and a dire Henderson town centre left in its wake”.

But Penny Hulse is easy fodder when it comes to that new West Auckland mall that opened last week. She was right in the depth of negotiating with developers to allow the project to happen before the supercity amalgamation. ? Read more »

Model for success lies out west?

As a newspaper continues to peddle the PR spin for Auckland Council they focus on New Lynn.

Desperate for a story of how the city is changing they are trying to pimp New Lynn as a place of golden utopian opportunity.

When you mention New Lynn, there’s a good chance anyone who hasn’t been there for a long time will conjure up many thoughts – but none involving the phrase “world class”.

Back in the day the mall was tired and far from a destination shopping centre. The cinemas shut down and moved closer to newer malls, pedestrians competed with motorists on cluttered streets, there were limited choices for a great meal or entertainment and the police helicopter visited more often than any resident would like.

But, as those who have been there more recently will know, those days are fading. The former “tired old town” is having a facelift costing about $400 million, complete with a well-oiled transport hub and a central entertainment and shopping precinct amid more affordable medium-density housing, great schools, office spaces, gyms, a library, a community centre and open public spaces.

New Lynn’s growth into a vibrant suburb where locals can live, work and play locally has been the result of more than a decade of planning and public and private investment.

The initial vision was to create a sustainable community around a transit interchange, capable of drawing and maintaining a population of 20,000 residents and 14,000 workers.

Now, says Auckland Mayor Len Brown, the vision is becoming a reality.

“What was a tired old town with great roots has become a place … with great liveable qualities.”

Read more »

Feral is as Feral does

It will be no surprise to anyone that the feral ratbags who “allegedly” stabbed a shopkeeper to death are the offspring of more feral ratbags.

The parents of both boys charged over the death of a dairy owner are in jail or facing active criminal charges.

As shopkeeper Arun Kumar was farewelled in a moving service among his family and friends in Wiri, South Auckland, further details of the lives and families of the 12- and 13-year-old boys can today be revealed.

Because the boys are so young, their names are suppressed. However, the?Herald on Sundayhas learned the 13-year-old murder accused’s mother appeared in court this month on dishonesty offences and breaching bail.

The?Herald on Sunday?understands the 13-year-old’s father is also in custody.

[…] ? Read more »

A reader emails about Westie life

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A reader emails about Westie life:

Hi again Cam,

I feel I need to background my earlier contribution.

My point was and I hope it is crystal clear to your readers – there is absolutely no excuse for grandstanding over anyone’s sad demise but to add a ‘Barry White’ moment to it is even worse.

I understand Len Brown’s point, however badly made, about tipping more resources into this geographical area. ?As usual though it was a badly thought out misfire.

But let’s look at that shall we in some more depth.

I’m very qualified to speak on this point as I grew up in Henderson and the surrounding suburbs and my family have a long association with West Auckland for over 150 years. ?When I grew up there it was a great place and one of the best kept secrets in Auckland. ?The families of this area were hard working and community orientated, not in a superficial sense but in the way that you helped your neighbours and looked out for each other. ?That is still true for 95% of the people that live and work in West Auckland.

I still live in the north west and I’m proud of the heritage of this area and I like the people. ?West Auckland has produced some of this county’s finest writers, artists, designers, winemakers, sports and business people.

It is a myth that everyone here is poor and or deprived or started out that way. ?Yes, there are pockets of that – but it is not as common as is portrayed in the media. ?It is not filled to the brim with “Westie boguns” – that is a subset certainly, but there are just as many of those residing in Birkdale.

What has ruined the place is the combined force of welfare dependency and bureaucracy. ?In the Renaissance and much further back – the most important institution in a town had the largest and often the tallest building. ?It was a status symbol – a physical embodiment and reflection of political and cultural dominance. ?In most cases this was the church or local laird’s residence. ?It didn’t take much observation to work out who was in charge if you rode into any town or village on an idle?Tuesday.

Have a look at the buildings that dominate the landscape in Henderson – there are three – Winz, the Henderson Police station and the brand new Auckland Council building.

What was a landscape of light industry, small retailers, orchards and vineyards has been transformed over three decades by these forces. ?Welfare, crime and rate collection are now the biggest earners. Read more »

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