You are on page 1of 2


Waterview is a small suburban district, sandwiched snugly between its two larger adjoining
neighbours, Point Chevalier and Avondale. These two areas (and to a lesser extent the
suburbs of Mt Albert, Blockhouse Bay and New Lynn) have had a long standing
connection with the development and growth of Waterview, over the years. There is a
certain amount of crossover between these districts. For example, many of the early
important historic personalities of both Avondale and Point Chevalier (including figures
such as John Bollard, Wilhelm Hoffmann, Sir Alfred Cadman and later Hallyburton
Johnstone), also feature in the development of Waterview as well.

While sharing many characteristics in common with Point Chevalier and Avondale, for
much of its existence, Waterview has largely been subsumed under or considered as part
of the territorial authority of these two larger suburban entities. Many Aucklanders if asked
to identify this 'micro-suburb', may have difficulty locating it - except in relationship to these
two larger suburbs or to its position on the Great North Road and its proximity to the North
Western Motorway.

In my opinion, the emergence of a separate "Waterview identity", a feeling of being part of
the local area rather than part of a wider Avondale district, probably emerged slowly over
time during the latter half of the 19th century. It may have emerged due to the settlement's
relative isolation from its neighbours or partly out of frustration with the pace of the early
development of the district or it may have naturally emerged as Waterview's residents
started to develop a sense of community. Even today, most residents of this district
choose to regard themselves as being Waterview residents as opposed to being an
Avondale or a Point Chevalier one.

This independence of mind and of community spirit can clearly be seen in the 1979
rejection by Waterview's residents of its proposed merger with the New Lynn Borough
Council (Western Leader, September 11, 1979 page 1). Waterview chose to remain under
the jurisdiction (and receive the benefits) of the Auckland City Council rather than place
itself within the sphere of Waitakere City Council.

Yet Waterview was not considered a bona fide suburban area in its own right until the
1990s, when the new interchange connection of State Highway 16 with the North Western
Motorway was built. Waterview was finally recognised with a motorway sign signalling the
major off-ramp in the vicinity of the rise leading up to Point Chevalier near the mouth of the
Oakley Creek. Waterview often features in daily local radio broadcasts giving the latest
updates of regional traffic flows and of major areas of traffic congestion at peak times
within the Auckland isthmus. The Wise's Auckland Post Office and Streets Directories still
considered Waterview to be a part of Avondale up until the 1980s and even later; while
both the postal and telephone services still retain this anomaly.
The Study Area

The Heritage Character Study Area for Waterview has clearly defined boundaries; identical
to those of the district itself. It is defined by the physical features of the landscape and by
the major transport route from the city to West Auckland, the Great North Road, which
serves as the boundary between the developed/inhabited (western) and undeveloped/
lightly inhabited (eastern) parts of the suburb.

To the east of the Great North Road lies the area's most distinctive feature, the Oakley
Stream/Creek (together with its associated reserve lands, waterfall and walkways) and the
grounds of Unitec (formerly Carrington Technical Institute), which for many years served
as the farm land that supplied the needs of the former Carrington and Oakley (Mental)
Hospitals. This area of land has remained largely free of development - only on its upper
reaches (roughly opposite Alverston & Fir Streets and up to the Blockhouse Bay Road
intersection with the Great North Road) were there any houses established.

To the west of the Great North Road, from Heron Park to the start of the North Western
Motorway, lies "Waterview proper". This is the intensively developed side of the district
containing the substantial bulk of the residents' houses, streets, community amenities,
businesses, infrastructure and the like. In general, Waterview has reasonably flat and ideal
terrain for housing construction with most of the streets emerging at various points along
the western side of Great North Road, (right side from Point Chevalier district/left from
Avondale) and leading down in a gently sloping manner to waterfront reserves/beaches on
the edge of the Waitemata Harbour, at the end of each major road leading off it.

However, at the end of Fir Street, the landscape drops off sharply and the road is divided
by a small as yet un-named gully and stream. At this point, a small walk-bridge spans this
gap and Fir Street continues on the other side dipping down towards the harbour's edge.
Motor vehicle access is via Saxon St, which rather steeply "dog-legs" around this natural

From the highest point of the district, in the vicinity of the Blockhouse Bay Road/Great
North Road Intersection, the landscape is in the form of an undulating hill slope gently
leading down to where it levels off to almost flat land, in the vicinity of Alford Street and
Oakley Ave. It is at this juncture that there is a prominent bend in Great North Rd (above
Herdman Street), which continues down the (much gentler slope of the) "Waterview
Straight" to the junction of the North Western Motorway, just below Cowley Street. It is at
this point that the landscape starts to rise again, leading up the hill towards Point

To the South, in the direction of Avondale, the Great North Road comes to a Y-shaped
Intersection - with Blockhouse Bay Road to the right and Great North Road continuing on
towards Avondale on the left (from the city side). On the small triangle of land formed by
the intersection of these two major roads, on one side is located the small Avondale Lion's
Club Hall (formerly the "Church of Christ") and on the other side (western side of Great
North Road) is the large open grass paddock area, known as the Heron Park (a city
council reserve).