The Story of Avondale Central – part 6– On to “Mainstreet” 1990 to 2001

any matters that did arise, that were
particular to the area, could be
handled by a Body representing the
Avondale area.

On to
“Mainstreet” …
1990 – 2001

“A meeting was held … on 28 March
and this proved a most beneficial
meeting.”
“In 1990 there was a greater variety of
businesses in Avondale than there
had been thirty years before, but
probably fewer people shopping
regularly in the district.” [Challenge of

1990

the Whau, p. 125]

Trevor J Callaghan resigned as
president of the ABA. From his letter,
dated 30/3/90:
“The Association had, over the
previous 4 years worked mainly to
have the general area upgraded and
hopefully turned into a shopping area
that, while not matching the Lyn(n)mall
Centre, would take on a character that
would encourage the general public to
use this pleasant street.

Avondale Community Centre is
completed and opened at 99
Rosebank Road on 15 September
1990. The facility accommodated the
Avondale Community Pre-School,
Avondale Citizens Advice Bureau,
Barnardos, Avondale Plunket and
(later) the Avondale Community
Board.
Regular
service
and
community groups such as Senior
Citizens, Rotary, and church groups
use the Main Hall for their meetings
and gatherings.

“Negotiations were begun with the
Auckland City Council and eventually
plans were presented by them,
showing the extent of major works that
they would be doing over a nominated
year as funds became available.
Eventually $250,000 was budgeted to
cover the upgrading of footpaths,
resurface the road, remove the
antiquated poles that lined the street
and generally improve the whole area.

In 1990, Des Ferry sold his
panelbeating business to Michael
Cook.

1991
Population of Avondale: 29,322 [Brief

“Your committee were delighted with
the results and once this was done we
tried to enthuse the local retailers to
follow up with promotional activity to
improve the flow of people. This
proved to be more difficult and
eventually the Association went into
recess.

History of Avondale, City Planning, 2001]

On July 26 1991, the Social Welfare
Office in Avondale closed its doors.
The closure was part of a nation-wide
cost-cutting
exercise
for
the
department. By the late 1990s, they
had returned to the Great North Road
site, under the name Income Support.

“At no time was the Association
disbanded. This was done to ensure a
continuity of the Association so that

89

The Story of Avondale Central – part 6– On to “Mainstreet” 1990 to 2001

are part of the scheme, planned to
start next August.

December 1991 – the ASB relocates
its Avondale branch to the corner of
Great North Road and Wingate Street,
after being on Rosebank Road for
nearly 30 years.

Developers hope the new retail area
may gain back patronage from
residents who now shop at nearby
LynnMall City. Current rezoning of
Avondale
racecourse
land
to
residential will also boost the project.”

1990-91

[Western Leader, 17/12/90]

Lin Howell now president of ABA.
Resigns 15/10/1991

(In the 1980s, Avondale Jockey Club
took on a night-racing project,
including the installation of a multimillion dollar lighting system around
the track. This failed disastrously,
nearly leading to the closure of the
racecourse, and prompted the sale of
surplus land owned by the Jockey
Club for residential purposes. The
debacle is also one of the reasons
why the Jockey Club agreed to host a
regular Sunday Market on the course
grounds, continuing to this day,
sometimes to the chagrin of retailers
up on Avondale Mainstreet.)

From draft newsletter by Howell,
1/6/90:
“For a number of years our
association has stumbled along with
the odd successful promotion and very
little else. A number of businesses
have supported the association during
this period but the support potential
has a long way to go to reach it(s)
optimum.
“It is my intention to make the
association a live useful facility
engaged in the promotion of the
Avondale Business Community. We
are not going to become involved in
the local political scene unless our
livelihood is threatened.”

“Fixing cracked footpaths will be
Avondale Community Board’s top
priority this financial year. Both
Avondale and Blockhouse Bay
shopping centres are a disgrace, says
board chairwoman Dawn Persson.
Despite complaints from residents,
little has been done about the
problem. The board will use money
allocated for local improvements to
upgrade the walkways.” [Western

1991-92
ABA once again in recess.

Leader, 9/7/91]

“Avondale residents can look forward
to an up-market new shopping centre
next
year.
The
Inner
Circle
Development will be located around
the existing tavern on Great North
Road.

1992
“A rejuvenation of the Avondale and
New Lynn business districts has
begun. Newly formed Business
Associations for both areas will
announce a number of initiatives in
coming months. A lack of interest from

“An Auckland Savings Bank, a
takeaway restaurant and other shops

90

The Story of Avondale Central – part 6– On to “Mainstreet” 1990 to 2001

business people has seen past
business associations fold.“ [Western

A Carpark at 59 and 63A Rosebank
Road was scheduled for construction
by Auckland City, who had purchased
them by 1988, but had to await the
expiration of lease on no. 63A. [Report

Leader, 17/9/92]

A
main
instigator,
Avondale
businesswoman Alison Turner says
the response has been encouraging.
“We have a lot of people interested.
Now it’s a matter of consolidating and
planning the next move,” she says.

by Clinton Savage, Community Advisor, to
Acting Community Development Officer,
Auckland City, 21/9/88]

1993

[Western Leader, 11/8/92]

Precious Flores Dayril now president
of ABA

“Barnes-Dance”
type
of
signal
crossing at Rosebank/Gt North Rd
intersection replaced by pedestrians
crossing parallel to traffic, abolishing
diagonal crossing. [Western Leader,

Promotion: ABA adopts theme of
“Revival of Avondale Shopping
Centre”.

20/1/93]

“Avondale shopkeepers are planning
to re-direct traffic on one of this
country’s busiest roads to save their
business district from collapse. Brent
Lincoln is heading a growing
movement to restrict a kilometre of
Great North Road, between St Jude
and Ash Streets, to north bound traffic
only. The shopkeepers say the plan is
a last ditch effort to keep the area
alive.

Bill Powell now ABA President.
He urged Avondale “to get off its tail
and do something to revitalise the
retail area before it’s too late.”
Avondale business people had to
have a long hard look at themselves
and decide whether they want to take
positive action to improve the retail
sector or to remain dormant with a
couldn’t care less attitude to attracting
business.
“We will be approaching shop-keepers
in the main business area to clean up
their act and make some of the stores
more
presentable
and
more
professional.” [Western Leader 8/9/93]

“‘This shopping area will be dead in
four to five years unless we can do
something. This could revive the
centre,’ says Mr Lincoln.
“However council … initial response is
less than favourable.” [Western Leader,

In a letter to the Western Leader,
Dawn Persson wrote:
“I shop in Avondale because retailers
are helpful and friendly. If I go to any
big impersonal shopping centre like
Lynnmall no one cares who I am or
what I want.

19/11/92]

This led to a split of opinion between
the two halves of the shopping centre.
The New Lynn side preferred the plan,
the Walsall side opposed it. Ron
Magill of Watson’s pharmacy arranged
a petition of more than 100 signatures
opposing the proposal. [Western Leader,

“The council does a good job of
rubbish collection and retailers try to
keep their shopfronts attractive.

17/12/92]

91

The Story of Avondale Central – part 6– On to “Mainstreet” 1990 to 2001

a Sunday fleamaket, but the Council
cannot be blamed for the offensive
smell from the bins on the pavement
each rubbish day.

“At present we are trying to get some
beautifying done in the way of
planting. If your reporter cares to join
me on a perambulation around the
village he can show me what he thinks
are the grotty bits and I will show him
all the good things about Avondale.“I
think Avondale is an A1 place to be.”

“Retailers are constantly complaining
about the drop in business, but they
are not helping to attract customers to
the centre.

[Western Leader, 20/10/1993]

On 29 October 1993, Te Ruruhau O
Te Whau, a Maori community group
part of Te Whanau O Waipareira
Trust, opens an office at the Avondale
Community Centre. Within three
years, however, it vanishes.

”Whether the initiative is taken by the
retailers of the council is asked to do
its job, something has to be done
urgently or Avondale will be a dead
area.” [Dennis K Scoles letter to Western
Leader, 18/1/96]

John Fairbairn now president of ABA
1996-1998. The latest phase of
Avondale Central’s history begins.

1994
ABA
tries
to
develop
more
community involvement in the local
retail community. [Waitakere Week,

Security
Lighting.
Meeting
of
Avondale businesses called by
Avondale
Community
Board
unanimously decided to accept offer
by the Board of supply and installation
of security lighting at a cost of $40,000
for the shopping area, with proviso
that the shopkeepers pay for extra
power and maintenance. [3/4/1996]

27/4/94]

New retail complex around The
Warehouse store in Rata St opens in
New Lynn. Additional pressure is
therefore put on the Avondale retailers
to compete.

“Avondale councillor Brian Maude
says the community board, local
police and business association are
working towards holding a “Switching
On” festival and street parade when
the lighting project is completed in
August.

1995
By now, Lynnmall had become fully
revitalised to become LynnMall City.

“With a new graffiti co-ordinator
appointed and the planned shopping
centre improvements, the three
organisations are hoping to make
further positive progress for the people
of Avondale.” [City Scene, 22/6/96]

1996
“The shopping centre is a disgrace
and Auckland City Council must take
most of the blame.

Avondale Beautification. At same
meeting, Council advised that funding
had been budgetedfor sealing, plants

“The amount of rubbish lying around
the streets is worse than Ash St after

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The Story of Avondale Central – part 6– On to “Mainstreet” 1990 to 2001

29 August – Hostage drama at
Jackson’s Superette, Great North
Road.

etc., as recommended to them by
ABA.
New Police Station on corner of
Walsall St and Great North Road.
[Western Leader, 21/6/96]. The original
building become vacant, then finds
new use as a boarding house up until
early 2003, when raids by the local
police closed the business.

I remember coming home from work,
to get off the bus at Avondale
because, as I recall, I wanted to pick
up some groceries before heading up
the hill to home. It was a dark night,
and raining heavily. Great North Road
was sealed off from the Rosebank
Road intersection by the police. The
bus was diverted down Rosebank
Road, towards Ash Street. The driver
let some of the surprised passengers
off, like myself, in Rosebank Road,
just before heading along to New
Lynn, and we walked back to Great
North Road, hoping to see what was
wrong.

Anti-Graffiti. An Anti-Graffiti meeting
held in Avondale Community Board
room at Bond St. A requested van was
to be called an “Anti-Graffiti van”.
Auckland City Council providing
$45,000 from central Council for this
pilot scheme. [1/5/96]
Anti-Graffiti pilot scheme announced
to ABA by Sgt Warren Strand. [ABA
Committee minutes, 9/5/96]

I don’t think I’d seen so many police
cars in one spot as they were in the
block between Crayford Street and the
roundabout. I remember the urge to
get home to my waiting mother as
soon as I possibly could. Thankfully,
the dairy owner held hostage wasn’t
hurt.

Promotion
Bryce Pilkington outlined Avondale
Business Pride Programme
[ABA Committee minutes, 9/5/96]

Mainstreet : “In 1996 the Avondale
Community Board, along with the
remaining
Avondale
Business
Association (ABA) members, started a
recruitment campaign which saw the
Association's membership increase
ten-fold.
First Santa Parade on 7 December in
conjunction with Avondale Jockey
Club’s Gold Cup day

Later that year Community Board
members brought to the attention of
the ABA that the Mainstreet concept
existed, and the Mainstreet Coordinator from
Otahuhu
visited
Avondale to inform the ABA about
how the programme worked.” [Kevin

Funding: Separate rating system
Separate rating system funding for
ABA
projects:
“A
majority
of
ratepayers [poss. Up to 75%] is
required to bring in a separate rating
system.” {ABA Committee minutes,
18/6/96]

Healy, ABA Mainstreet history, from internet
site www.avondale.net.nz April 2001]

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The Story of Avondale Central – part 6– On to “Mainstreet” 1990 to 2001

of the process, and a vote was taken
to establish support for the proposal.

1997

“Avondale’s business community may
pay
higher
rates
to
finance
improvements to its main street. The
ABA votes on plans to implement a
Mainstreet programme funded by a
rate levy on local shopkeepers. If the
plan
is
endorsed
Avondale
shopkeepers pay an extra seven per
cent. The annual increase of $27,500
goes to a Mainstreet project.” [Western

Mainstreet Note: (Note: following
information on Mainsteet Project and ABA
taken largely from information provided on
www.avondale.net.nz)
“By the mid 1990s, the Avondale
Town Centre was run-down and
depressed. Many businesses had
already shut and when the 3Guys
Supermarket announced it was to
close its doors in June 1997, it looked
like Avondale was doomed.

Leader, 27/3/97]

This
In July 1997, Avondale joined 12 other
areas in Auckland City by adopting a
Mainstreet Programme to improve its
strip shopping area and bring back
customers.” [Kevin Healy, ABA Mainstreet
history,
from
internet
www.avondale.net.nz, April 2001]

was

later

imposed.

[Western

Leader, 25/6/97]

April
Avondale
Mainstreet
Programme
proposal included in Auckland City
Annual Plan 1997/98.

site

30 April 1997
ABA
representatives
attended
Regional Mainstreet conference.

The 3 Guys supermarket closed on
June 27, 1997. Since then, and in all
the years following, the public have
demanded another supermarket in
Avondale. Unfortunately, Progressive
Foods
who
owned
3
Guys
supermarkets, along with Foodtown,
reportedly placed a caveat on the title
of the land so that it could not be used
for retail purposes such as that of a
supermarket.

Avondale
Community
Centre
suggests that Santa Parade be held
in November, to tie in with Centre’s
Fun Day. Afterwards, this is not seen
as a benefit to Avondale businesses,
however.
LynnAvon shopping complex opens
on corner of Henry St and Great North
road. [Western Leader, 25/6/97] The TAB
moves there.

February – ABA requested that
Auckland City establish a separate
rating area in Avondale, in order to
fund the Mainstreet Programme.
Letter was sent to all Avondale
retailers from ABA, asking for “yes”
vote for Mainstreet programme.

27 June 1997 – 3 Guys supermarket
closes. Avondale Laundromat moves
from beside the supermarket to 54
Rosebank Road. Is still there in 2001.

March – Mainstreet voting papers
distributed to businesses.

August
Mainstreet Management Committee
formed.
“To ensure that Separate Ratepayers'
funds are used wisely, Auckland City
must retain some control in the way

20 March 1997
Mainstreet meeting held on 20/3/97 so
that the ratepayers could be informed

94

The Story of Avondale Central – part 6– On to “Mainstreet” 1990 to 2001

separate rate money is spent. This is
done by establishing a Mainstreet
Management Committee to oversee
the direction of the Mainstreet
programme, and to approve quarterly
budgets.

January
Urban Design redevelopment tender:
"Interested parties are invited to
submit their qualifications in Main
Street planning and development.
Please include a list of past projects
and experience in urban design
capability.

“The committee is made up of two
members of the ABA, a City Councillor
and a Community Board member from
the Avondale ward, the ABA
Mainstreet Co-ordinator and a Council
officer responsible for Mainstreet
programmes. [Kevin Healy, Mainstreet

"The brief is not limited to one
professional group, as the association
do not want to limit the scope or input
of other groups. We invite all
interested groups to submit detailed
applications. Please include wherever
possible rates and costings of
services." [NZ Herald classified, 31/1/98]

History Timeline, www.avondale.net.nz,, April
2001]

October
Mainstreet Co-ordinator Kevin Healy
appointed.

February.
First issue of Avondale Mainstreet
News.

November
Portage Licensing Trust grant: $4,000
donation to ABA for Christmas
Parade promotion and new Crossstreet Banner.
Christmas Parade & Fun Day: ABA
organises Christmas Parade to
coincide with Avondale Community
Centre's Fun Day market and
entertainment,
Saturday
22
November.

Logo: “Avondale has a striking
colourful new logo to help promote the
town in a distinctly positive way. The
logo was the brainchild of ABA
Secretary and Avondale Police Senior
Sergeant, Warren strand. The colours
suggest the red roofs of local homes
with the green of the Waitakere
ranges rising to the blue of the sky.
The tick is for all the things that are
positive about Avondale … of course!
“Already, local businesses are using
the logo on signs to promote Avondale
and the Mainstreet programme. The
first to go up is at MacDonald’s Home
Appliance Centre on the corner of
Great North Road and Racecourse
[Avondale Mainstreet News,
Parade.”

December
Avondale Business Directory: First
Avondale Town Centre directory
published by ABA.
Security lighting: Funding application
made to Community Board Small
Local Improvement Projects (SLIPs)
fund, for completion of the Mainstreet
security lighting project.

1998

February 1998]

95

The Story of Avondale Central – part 6– On to “Mainstreet” 1990 to 2001

Banner: “Auckland City Council
contractors are preparing to engineer
and install a cross-street banner in
Avondale.
“The 10 metre X 1.2 metre banner will
be mounted across Great North Road
just south of the intersection with
Rosebank Road. Business and
community groups will be able to hire
the banner to advertise upcoming
promotions and events.” [Avondale

month to discuss Avondale’s good and
bad points.

Mainstreet News, February 1998]

April
Mainstreet
Plans:
Funding
application made to Community Board
SLIPs fund to develop a 'Strategic
Marketing Plan' and an 'Urban Design
Concept Plan' (Mainstreet Plans) for
Avondale.

“People at the forum were also asked
for a vision of the future, The most
common response was to create “a
place with a strong sense of
community where there is a safe and
happening shopping centre.” [Western
Leader 7/4/1998]

March
Urban
Design
redevelopment
consultants: ABA select de Beer
Marketing & Communications to
produce a 'Strategic Marketing Plan'
and Isthmus Group to produce an
'Urban Design Concept Plan' for
Avondale.

May
Avondale Community Board SLIPs
grant: For Mainstreet plans, approved
at Community Board meeting, 20/5/98.
“A development plan for Avondale is
to be drawn up with the help of a
$27,000 grant from the Avondale
Community Board.

Urban
Design
redevelopment
consultation
process
started:
Waitakere City Council officers help
design 'open forum' meetings where
Avondale business people and
community members can have their
say on the future of the town.
Information gathering tools include a
written survey, SWOT analysis,
'favourite/most hated place' map,
'vision for the future' statements, and
informal discussion.

“Mainstreet coordinator Kevin Healy
says the plan will find “the essence of
Avondale” for future upgrading of the
town.
“Hopefully at the end of three months
we will have a plan we can take to
council.” [Western Leader, 17/6/98]

Public Forum meetings: Two open
days held at Avondale Community
Centre 26 & 27 March, to gather
feedback about the town from the
community.

“The ABA is looking at installing a
replica antique light standard at the
intersection of Great North Road and
St Georges Rd. It may be the start of a
heritage theme for Avondale, Mr Healy
says.” [Western Leader, 17/6/98]

“Avondale
residents
say
their
community’s diverse cultural mix, its
central location and quality schools
make the area special. But it’s
dragged down by its shabby
appearance, lack of a supermarket,
traffic and parking problems and low
community
spirit.
These
views
emerged at a Mainstreet forum last

June
"The ABA is looking at installing a
replica antique light standard at the
intersection of Great North Road and
St Georges Rd. It may be the start of a

96

The Story of Avondale Central – part 6– On to “Mainstreet” 1990 to 2001

heritage theme for Avondale, Mr Healy
says." [Western Leader, 17/6/98]

November
Strategic Marketing Plan: completed
and distributed to stakeholders for
comment.

The lamp standard is a replica of the
original, presented by businessman
Arthur W Page in 1904. Avondale
Community Board approve funding for
the project, and the lamp was installed
in the middle of the roundabout early
July.

Christmas Parade & Fun Day:
Avondale
Community
Centre
organises Christmas Parade & Fun
Day, Saturday 21 November. ABA
contributes by paying for advertising,
lollies, sausages etc.

July
3Guys site: Old supermarket building
demolished. New property owners,
Challenge Petroleum, wish to build a
Challenge petrol station and terraced
houses on the site.

December
Urban Design Concept Plan: Project
Control Group (PCG) formed to work
with Isthmus Group to produce
concept plan for the redevelopment of
Avondale' streetscape.

ABA resolves to request that Council
purchase the remaining carpark area
for the use of sports groups and
shoppers.

1999

Portage Licensing Trust grant: $5,000
donation to ABA for Mainstreet
security
lighting
power
and
maintenance.

February
Urban
Design
Concept
Plan:
Fortnightly PCG meetings started, 3
February.

August:
Avondale Community Centre is
advised that ABA will not run the
Santa Parade that year. Community
Centre goes ahead anyway, at own
cost.

New
ABA
Chairman:
Duncan
Macdonald
elected,
following
resignation of John Fairbairn.
March
Avondale News: The Newsletter
Company works with the ABA to
launch a newsletter dedicated to
Avondale. Initial distribution is to 5,500
homes and businesses in Avondale,
Rosebank and Waterview.

Strategic Marketing Plan focus
group: First workshop of ABA,
community representatives and local
politicians held at Avondale Primary
School, 1 August, facilitated by Jillian
de Beer. This was followed by another
on 15 September.
October
Rocky Horror Picture Party:
ABA work with Hollywood Cinema on
'Rocky Horror' promotion where the
film is played every night for the week
leading up to Halloween.

97

The Story of Avondale Central – part 6– On to “Mainstreet” 1990 to 2001

lighting, and provision of 'generic
signage' - tells what the business
does - butcher, baker, chemist etc.
"These large, easy-to-read signs,
brainchild of Chairman Macdonald,
make life easier for shoppers, and
have attracted new custom to these
businesses, with reports of turnover
increasing by over 50%." [West Weekly,
June 2000] The Avondale Community
Board approved $2,250 seed funding
for the project.

3Guys site: Purchased by Auckland
City for carpark at rear section. Front
section to be sold to a developer with
provisions to fit in with Mainstreet
programme.

June
Urban
Design
Concept
Plan:
endorsed by Community Board.
Avondale
Spider
Icon:
"The
Avondale Spider is a unique icon of
the area - even gaining world-wide
recognition as the star of the Spielberg
film 'Arachnophobia'. In 1999, the
giant fibreglass and steel spider atop
Mobil Avondale was removed due to a
change in policy by Mobil Australia.

April
Urban Design Concept Plan: Initial
concept plan on public display 8, 9 &
10 April in the National Bank building
(now Ray White's) to gather written
and verbal feedback from the
community.
NZ Deaf Association move into exWINZ offices on Great North Road.

"The Business Association paid for the
removal of the spider, and for
preliminary refurbishment and storage
until a suitable site was located." [ABA

May
Urban
Design
Concept
Plan:
completed.
Town Centre Refurbishment Project:
Starts with pilot project - Pilkington
building above veranda painted in
ABA chosen colours and matching
fascia signs for the buildings' tenants:
Macdonalds Home Appliance Centre
(later Avondale Appliance Centre Ltd)
and Westforce Credit Union.

application to Portage Licensing
February 2000] The Spider is

Trust,

partly
restored then stored, appropriately,
beneath Spider's Bar. In 2002, it was
restored further, and installed at the
Town Centre.
July
Refurbishment Project Stage 1 1999/2000:
"The
Avondale
Community Board endorsed the Urban
Design Concept Plan in June 1999
and capital works funding for a major
redevelopment of the Avondale Town
Centre streetscape will be sought for
the 2000/2001 financial year.

"Currently the Business Association,
led by Chairman Duncan Macdonald
and assisted by Avondale's Mainstreet
Co-ordinator Kevin Healy, is engaged
in a refurbishment of the town.
Improvements include redecorating
tops of heritage buildings, repainting
under-verandas,
installing
more

"Outside the scope of the streetscape
redevelopment,
the
Strategic

98

The Story of Avondale Central – part 6– On to “Mainstreet” 1990 to 2001

and
suggestions
community.

Marketing Plan identified improved
signage and visual upgrading of the
commercial centre as being high
priorities.

from

each

"The main purpose of the plans will be
to secure the advantages and benefits
of growth, while also building strong
communities and protecting their
values." [Avondale Liveable Communities

"To date, the Avondale Business
Association has funded 26 new fascia
signs and the painting / decorative
painting of three buildings, supported
by contributions from building owners,
retailers and an Avondale Community
Board Discretionary Fund grant." [ABA

Project Newsletter, November 1999]

Avondale Mini-Market opens at 1907
Great North Road (former site of
MacDonald’s Appliances, Levenes,
Shoprite). By early 2001, as Fresh &
Fresh, the business is closed for two
months, before reopening again in
May 2001 as King’s Supermarket.

application to Community Board SLIPs, July
1999]

Avondale Community Board grant
$45,000 SLIPs funding for the project.
August
Lion
Foundation
grant:
$6,000
donation to ABA for Mainstreet
security
lighting
power
and
maintenance.

October
“On October 31 1999 the Hollywood
celebrated 75 years of existence and
is still running movies just like the old
days. In fact Television One
celebrated the Millennium of Movies
by showing the results of a poll taken
over 1000 people to compile a list of
the 10 best movies of the century and
ALL of the film titles were screened at
the Hollywood during its long
existence. Top film was "TITANIC"
followed by GONE WITH THE WIND.
There would not be too many cinemas
still in existence today that can lay
claim to having screened all those
movies.” [Jan Grefstad, Picture Theatres of

Pole banners: Distinctive 'Welcome
to Avondale Mainstreet' pole banners
purchased and installed. The baners
hang these days from the wall of the
ABA office.
September
Liveable
Communities
Plan:
Auckland City commences pilot
Liveable
Communities
Plan
programme in Avondale, with the
support of the ABA.

Auckland]

"In the Liveable Communities 2050
growth strategy Avondale is in one of
ten Strategic Growth Management
Areas (SGMAs) where Auckland City
expects much of the city's future
development to be concentrated.

November
Street Legal:
Avondale becomes a 'set' for a TV
action series, including a shot-gun
'shoot-out' in the course of a mock
bank robbery outside the old Post
Office (cnr Rosebank & Great North
Rds). ABA helps locate premises for
studio and 'on location' sets.

"Avondale and Panmure have been
chosen as pilot centres where draft
Liveable Community Plans are being
prepared. The plans are an integral
part of the Liveable Communities 2050
Strategy and will be based on issues

"Screen Works Ltd., the producer's of
"Street Legal", have begun pre-

99

The Story of Avondale Central – part 6– On to “Mainstreet” 1990 to 2001

production on a follow up series. We
are due to start filming in mid
November and continue through till
mid May 2000.

2000
January
Millennium Project:
Avondale Community Board grant
$6,000 towards the Avondale Spider
Icon project. These funds are used to
produce the detailed engineering
drawings needed to mount a 200kg, 5
metre wide Spider 8 metres off the
ground.

"Street Legal" is a bold, actionoriented legal drama series that deals
with the lives and struggles of the
lawyers at Wyeth and Associates.
Leading the pack is maverick criminal
lawyer David Silesi, played by New
Zealand actor Jay Lagaa'ia, best
known for his work on the Australian
Series Water Rats.

February
Spider Icon made famous: ABA
makes known its plans to restore the
Spider to its former glory, generating a
blaze of publicity with articles and
photos appearing in the Western
Leader, N Z Herald, Avondale News,
and overseas in the New Zealand
News UK.

"We are currently in the process of
finding locations that we can use on a
day by day basis throughout the
filming of the series. We like the look
of your property and think that it may
work well." [Screen Works letter]
Christmas Parade & Fun Day:
Duncan MacDonald suggests moving
Fun Day to Avondale Primary School
green, as the Community Centre has
limited space (earlier in the year, at
Fun Day Committee meeting at the
Community
Centre).
Avondale
Community
Centre
organises
Christmas Parade & Fun Day,
Saturday
20
November.
ABA
contributes by paying for advertising in
Avondale News, Western Leader,
West Weekly, flyers, banner etc.

Avondale
residents
are
overwhelmingly in favour of the Spider as
an icon for the town.
State Highway 20: Interest groups
approach the ABA to see if it will get
involved in the State Highway 20
debate. ABA Chairman Duncan
Macdonald produces plans that are
then published in the Western Leader.
March
Mt Eden Mainstreet: Avondale
Mainstreet Co-ordinator Kevin Healy
speaks at Mt Eden Business
Association AGM outlining how
successful the Avondale Mainstreet
Programme has been. Mt Eden
retailers
subsequently
vote
for
separate rating to become the 14th
Mainstreet in Auckland City.

December
3 Guys site:
ABA develops own plans for the site
based on a mix of retail premises with
apartments above, town houses
behind the shops, and public parking
at rear. Following ABA presentation to
Auckland City Property Transactions
Committee, a 'minimum of 1,600
square metres of retail space'
becomes an essential requirement for
development of the site.

Sunday Market: ABA receives
complaints from retailers about some
hawkers at the markets who have no

100

The Story of Avondale Central – part 6– On to “Mainstreet” 1990 to 2001

of 'clean and light' where they have
been tidied and painted.

licenses and are operating in
unhygienic conditions. ABA contacts
Auckland City and subsequently
hygiene conditions improve.

"Lighting under verandas: Again,
dilapidated under verandas have been
an issue. By the end of June nearly
70% of this work will be complete,
making a huge difference to the look
and level of security of Avondale Town
Centre at night." [ABA application to

Waitakere City take-over repelled:
Waitakere City Mayor Bob Harvey is
quoted in the media as suggesting
that Avondale and Rosebank should
split from Auckland City and become
part of Waitakere City. Mayor Harvey
concedes
after
ABA
Chairman
Duncan Macdonald hints at the
possibility of a counter-take-over of
Waitakere City by an army of
Avondale Spiders.

Community Board SLIPs, April 2000]

May
Annual
Plan
submissions
2000/2001:
"Avondale
Business
Association
submission
to
Auckland
City's
2000/2001 Draft Annual Plan. The
purpose of this submission is to
support:

April
Refurbishment Project Stage 2 2000/2001: "The ABA is very pleased
with progress to date:
"Generic signs: Over half of the
businesses in town now have generic
signs. Demand for the signs is
increasing
as
companies
that
originally refused to budge from their
own
corporate
signage
are
reconsidering. Kodak has switched
already. Westpac has agreed to
generic signage, and NZ Post and the
BNZ have approached the association
to discuss the issue. Feedback from
the public has been overwhelmingly in
favour of the signs.

"1. Allocation of Capital Works
expenditure by Auckland City for
Stage 1 of Avondale's Mainstreet
streetscape
redevelopment
in
2000/2001, and for further allocations
to be made in the subsequent financial
years until the project is complete.
"2. Encouragement of TranzRail to
move the Avondale rail station to the
top of Crayford Street."
Hearings are held in June at the
Community Centre where a display of
ABA plans etc. is viewed by
Councillors and Duncan and Kevin
speak to the submissions.

"Painting above verandas: By the
end of June around 70% of the
buildings (above veranda) in town will
have a new coat of paint or a
decorative paint-up to highlight
character features. Most of the
building owners have contributed, and
have used the colour palette designed
by the ABA.

National Mainstreet Trust Regional
Conference: Avondale Mainstreet Coordinator Kevin Healy leads workshop
on
'Funding
opportunities'
and
promotes Avondale at Mainstreet
seminar in Onehunga.

Very poor state of many of the under
verandas has hampered progress and
incurred substantial extra costs here.
However, there is a significant sense

Footpaths: ABA co-ordinate repairs to
Avondale footpaths, undertaken by
contractors to Auckland City Traffic &
Roading Services.

101

The Story of Avondale Central – part 6– On to “Mainstreet” 1990 to 2001

Macdonald, Gary Ball
Community Constable).

June
Graffiti Paint-out:
KAWBS and Community Board
members approach ABA to take over
the graffiti paint-out operations, at
least temporarily until Auckland City's
programme is established. The ABA is
prepared to do this only as long as it is
100% funded by Community Board
and WINZ subsidies (because there is
no Mainstreet budget for graffiti). ABA
apply for, and receive, Community
Board grant of $2,250 to continue
graffiti paint-out operation. WINZ grant
ABA subsidies for graffiti paint-out
wages.

(Avondale

National Mainstreet Trust Annual
Conference: Avondale Mainstreet Coordinator Kevin Healy leads workshop
on
'Funding
opportunities'
and
promotes Avondale at Mainstreet
conference in Wanganui.
Annual Plan 2000/2001: Auckland
City agree with all submissions made
by ABA, and include them in the
2000/2001 Annual Plan.
September
Generic Sign for Westpac: "In what
is believed to be a unique break with
tradition, a Westpac Trust branch has
joined a programme of generic signs
in the heart of Avondale's retail centre.
"Avondale Mainstreet programme coordinator Kevin Healy says: "To our
knowledge, this is the first time a bank
has agreed to sacrifice corporate
colours in some of its signage for a
project like this. Now we're hoping
others will do the same."

Mainstreet Stage 1: Auckland City
approves capital expenditure funding
of $330,000 in 2000/2001 financial
year for the development of a 'Town
Square' in the centre of Avondale.
July
Spider Icon named: Following a
competition in the Avondale News to
name the Spider, the people's choice
is 'Dale'.

"The Avondale Business Association's
generic signage programme will see
more than half the shops represented
by uniform signs. Westpac Trust's
fascia sign reads 'Banking and
Financial Services'." [City Scene,

Community Board SLIPs grant: For
Refurbishment Project Stage 2 $45,000.
Community Board SLIPs grant: ABA
apply for, and receive, $1,900 for
continued graffiti paint-out operation.

September 2000]

The Mural: ABA oversees and
supplies materials for local arts group
'Wai Kauri' to paint a mural depicting
the history of the Avondale area on
the fence at the rear of the 3Guys site.

August
ABA AGM 2000: Held at the
Avondale Peninsula Hotel, 15 August.
Speaker: Councillor Vern Walsh.
Elected
Committee:
Duncan
Macdonald (Chairman), Alison Turner
(Treasurer), Kevin Healy (Secretary),
Dave Fielding, Bikal Tahal, Simon
Cox, Councillor Vern Walsh, Lorraine
Wilson (Avondale Community Board),
Hinewhare
Harawira,
Glenys

October

102

The Story of Avondale Central – part 6– On to “Mainstreet” 1990 to 2001

Western Leader, West Weekly, flyers,
banner etc.
December
Playground trees cleared: ABA
arranges for Auckland City contractors
to remove vegetation hiding the
playground (beside 3 Guys site) from
the street. This has an immediate
benefit the area looks tidier, vandals
and taggers are discouraged from
hiding there, and people start actually
using the playground again.

Avondale.net.nz Website launch:
"Avondale is online. The Avondale
Business Association and Roadworks
Online are developing a web site to
showcase Avondale to the whole
world.

2001

“Association
Chairman
Duncan
MacDonald is delighted with progress
to date. Visit www.avondale.net.nz to
view images of our town and make
use of the free services. "This is really
about promoting Avondale and at the
same time putting something back into
the community - the future." [Avondale

January
Street Numbering project: ABA
purchases and installs 'gold-on-black'
street numbers in the Town Centre.
"Every green generic sign on the
verandah has had the shops street
number installed, which has made
locating a particular address much
easier and adds to the town's
character."
[Avondale News, February

News, October 2000]

November
Mainstreet Programme Satisfaction
Survey: Auckland City commission
AC Neilsen to conduct survey to
assess awareness of, and satisfaction
with,
Auckland's
Mainstreet
Programmes. Avondale results in all
areas measured (awareness of
programme, increased customers,
increased
turnover,
programme
satisfaction) are significantly higher
than the average for Auckland City.

2001]

Over 90% of those surveyed are
willing to continue separate rate
funding of the Avondale Mainstreet
Programme.

Avondale Primary joins Mainstreet:
"The school board has decided to
repaint the school buildings to match
our Avondale colour scheme. They
have asked if they could have a
generic sign. The committee agreed
that even though they are not a
separate ratepayer, we could supply a
sign in recognition of their contribution

Street numbering of the shops before
this had been achieved only by the
individual property owners and/or
shopkeepers. It was often difficult in
the past navigating one’s way through
the shopping centre, when just a
number was given. Usually, landmarks
such as known shops or corners were
used.

Christmas Parade & Fun Day: Local
volunteers organise Christmas Parade
& Fun Day, Saturday 18 November.
ABA contributes by paying $5,000 for
advertising
in
Avondale
News,

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The Story of Avondale Central – part 6– On to “Mainstreet” 1990 to 2001

"The Board resolved: That the Board
endorses the Avondale Mainstreet
Upgrade Stage One landscape
concept plan and fully supports the
initiative." [Letter from Avondale Community

to the town." [ABA minutes, December
2000].

New Year's Honour: Avondale
Business Association & Mainstreet
Management Committee member
Lorraine Wilson, and ex-member
Warren Strand, both receive Queen's
Service Medals for services to the
community.

Board, February 2001]

March
Generic Signs: "Avondale Primary
School sign, 'Welcome to Avondale'
sign (at intersection of Great North
Road & Ash St), Taxi shelter signs
and the three shop signs in Crayford
Street have all been completed." [ABA

February
Mainstreet Stage 1 - Town Square:
In consultation with ABA, Isthmus
Group draw concept plans for the
development of the Council-owned
property in the area between the
playground and the public toilets.

minutes, March 2001].

ABA
Timeline
History:
"Lisa
Truttman has produced a history
document that could be posted to our
website with acknowledgment of her
efforts." [ABA minutes, March 2001].

"Business
association
chairman
Duncan Macdonald says Avondale
lacks a public meeting place "where
the people can congregate and natter,
watch their kids at the playground
after doing some shopping".

Mainstreet
Policy:
Auckland
Mainstreets Network successfully
negotiate policy with Auckland City
that allows Avondale Mainstreet to
continue operating under its current
successful
operation
and
management structures.

"The $330,000 town square is the first
of four stages and will feature
footpaths, lighting, seating, a public
gathering area and new children's
playground. The plans for the square,
unveiled last week, include the
Avondale spider project. The town's
symbol will be mounted on a giant
stainless steel web near Great North
Rd.

“Plans for Avondale’s town square
could be changed after a protest by a
group of businessmen. The owners of
firms trading next to the site say
they’ve not been properly consulted
about the bid to transform land beside
the south end of the former 3 Guys
site.

"Councillor Vern Walsh says... "This
plan is probably the most exciting
thing that's happened in Avondale for
many years." [Western Leader, February

“Mr MacDonald says the plans have
been on show at the Avondale
Community Centre and on footpath
displays over the last two years and
business association members have
been kept informed.” [Western Leader,

2001]

Avondale Community Board endorses
Stage 1 Plans: "Thank you for the
presentation by yourself and Duncan
Macdonald
to
the
Avondale
Community Board at its 21 February
2001 meeting.

6/3/01]

May
On the 4th of May 2001, I visited
Jennifer Battersby at the home of

104

The Story of Avondale Central – part 6– On to “Mainstreet” 1990 to 2001

The large 240-litre green bins were
replaced by 120-litre bins, with the old
240s only to be used for “green waste”
or that from gardens. However, aside
from uproar heard across Auckland
from large residential families, and
unit-dwellers who had to share a
single bin in some cases, the business
district of Avondale was affected.

herself and Mark Battersby, the
current proprietors of Battersby’s Ltd
in Avondale.
At present, they have 1 staff member
other than themselves, so the firm is
still truly a family-owned business. 4
cars are in use, of which 2 are
hearses, and 1 a “removal vehicle” –
which, I was told, was one used for
discreet removals of the deceased.
The offices inside the business
premises were modified in 1989, with
recladding outside in 1999. Around
250 funerals a year are organised and
carried out by Battersby’s; this
compared with around 500 in the past,
but, as Jennifer pointed out, this was
before the rise of firms such as
Morrison’s, Fletcher Brown, etc.
Battersby’s take pride in that they can
assist with all aspects of care for the
deceased.

“In Avondale's main street, rows of
full-to-overflowing 240-litre wheelie
bins clutter the footpath because the
council has refused to take them
away.
Avondale
Business
Association
president Duncan Macdonald said the
shopkeepers put the larger bins out for
one last collection because the
stickers on the new, red-topped ones
said they were to be used after July 2.
When Mr Macdonald rang the council
he was advised to put the rubbish in
small plastic bags, which would be
picked up.

In May, Tahals Service Station (next
to Battersby’s) changed ownership
when the owners sold the business
and moved overseas. They had
owned the business for 14 years. It
now becomes known as Caltex.

He also resented the way he and four
other businesses had to share one
120-litre wheelie bin because their
block of shops was on one title. "I pay
$3000 a year in rates, of which 6 per
cent or $180 is for rubbish. If I want
my own wheelie bin it is going to cost
me an extra $185 a year to council or
$199 if I get a 240-litre bin from a
private contractor." [NZ Herald, 4/7/2001]

In June, after the cease of publication
of the Avondale News, the ABA
commenced The Spider’s Web, the
ABA’s official newsletter.
In the first issue, Duncan Macdonald
stated that “one of my future pet
projects I would like to see is the old
Library next door to the Hollywood
Picture Theatre [Avondale Public
Hall building] turned into an Avondale
History museum, spider terrarium
and café.” [Spider’s Web, June 2001, p. 3]

“The Avondale Business Association
paid a private contractor $500 to clear
41 large wheelie bins put out because
of confusion over the last collection
date for the bins. The association has
billed the council for the work.” [NZ
Herald, 10/7/2001].

“Association
chairman
Duncan
Macdonald
says
the
private
contractors emptied 41 240-litre bins
from the Avondale shopping centre
and surrounding streets. He labels the

July: Late in June, the City Council
introduced a new policy regarding
their
wheelie-bin
rubbish
collections, in response to a need to
reduce rubbish in municipal dumps.

105

The Story of Avondale Central – part 6– On to “Mainstreet” 1990 to 2001

rubbish a "health hazard" after it was
left uncollected outside food outlets,
"stinking to high heaven". One bin
contained maggots, he says.
"We have received dozens of
complaints about the smell and the
bins blocking the footpaths."” [Central

and the building’s tenants combine to
repaint the old building in the
Mainstreet colour scheme, highlighting
the architectural features – now visible
for the first time in decades. Once
more, the Page’s Building has become
a landmark.

Leader, 11 July 2001]

Also, Avondale dentist David Crum
was elected as President of the New
Zealand Dental Association. [Spider’s

At the July meeting of the ABA
Executive Committee, it was decided
that the author be encouraged and
assisted with the setting up of a
Historical Society for Avondale. (A
daunting task, to me, at the time!)

Web, November 2001]

August:
On August 10 2001, the first Internet
website devoted solely to the
publication of the history of
Avondale was created by the author.
I felt, at the time, that the flow of
information was coming in so swiftly
from interviews and research I was
undertaking that the stories compiled
needed to be published. The site,
called Rimtark, was followed soon
after by one for Auckland History in
general, The Archive Room, and
another for Avondale’s stories, called
Earthsettler (by early 2002).
Recognising that not everyone has
access to the Internet as I do, I started
The Avondale Historical Journal in
September 2001 – initially to a mailing
list of approximately 50. The public
reaction to both the website network,
which I later called an “on-line
museum” for Avondale, and the
Journal
has,
at
times,
been
overwhelming. Suddenly, for the first
time since 1994 when Challenge of
the Whau was published – our local
history became the talk of the town.
October:
The Page’s Building receives a
welcome redecoration, as the ABA

106

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