Story: Auckland places

Page 12. Central suburbs: Parnell to One Tree Hill

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Parnell

Historic suburb, settled in 1841. Its oldest surviving buildings date from the 1860s, when Bishop Selwyn lived there. By the 1950s the suburb was falling into decay. In the 1960s developers restored some of the shops along the main street, creating Parnell Village. This encouraged the gentrification of the surrounding area. It is now among Auckland’s wealthiest suburbs.

Newmarket

Commercial and industrial inner-city suburb, bordering the Auckland Domain. Newmarket’s role derived from its strategic site at the junction of railway lines north, south and west, and the Great South Road and Manukau Road. It became the centre for early cattle markets (hence its name) and the site of railway workshops from 1884 to 1928.

Burgers on Broadway

Broadway in Newmarket has had many American influences. In 1942, Frisco’s Hamburger and Coffee Bar was sited at the busy junction of Broadway, Newmarket and the Great South Road, on the route to American military camps south of the city. The Americans were impressed with the flavour of the burgers, and the amount of fresh vegetables included. One soldier used to ask for his hamburger to be ‘dragged through the garden’. 1

When the southern motorway was built in the 1950s, many industries relocated to South Auckland. The Lion Nathan Brewery, Newmarket’s largest industry, remained – but is due to close in 2011. The construction of apartments in the 1980s reversed the population’s downward trend, while the ‘277’ shopping mall made Newmarket an upmarket retail centre.

Remuera

Suburb named after Remuwera, the former name of Mt Hobson. The Ngāti Whātua tribe resisted selling Remuera’s fertile north-facing slopes above its Ōrākei settlement until the Crown negotiated sales in 1851 and 1853. By the 1890s the area was dotted with large mansions and small farms. Its mixed population became wealthier through the 20th century. From 1950 Remuera was dominated by affluent professional and business families.

Epsom, Greenlane, Ellerslie

Auckland’s ‘leafy suburbs’, along with Remuera. The description suggests space and affluence – although since the 1960s they have all been modified by motels, private hotels and infill housing. The area contains some of Auckland’s most prestigious secondary schools, including Auckland Grammar, Epsom Girls Grammar, St Cuthbert’s, and Diocesan.

Racing

Since holding New Zealand’s first organised race meeting in 1842, this district has been a centre for horse racing. The Alexandra Park racecourse (Auckland’s home of trotting) and Ellerslie racecourse were developed on farmland sold by Robert Graham to the Auckland Racing Club in 1873.

Hospitals

Epsom has traditionally been linked with Green Lane and National Women’s hospitals. The centralisation of most services on the Auckland City Hospital site in 2004 brought the closing of National Women’s and reduced the importance of Green Lane. The private Ascot Hospital remains in Ellerslie.

Cornwall Park

These suburbs border the huge area of Cornwall Park and One Tree Hill Domain (182 ha in total). Cornwall Park was gifted to Auckland City by John Logan Campbell in 1901 and has been farmed continuously since then. One Tree Hill’s summit has been crowned by a succession of trees; the last (a monterey pine) was felled in 2001. An obelisk built during the 1940 Centennial as a memorial to Māori still stands. To the east, Ellerslie farmland has been redeveloped for light industry.

Footnotes:
  1. Quoted in Dinah Holman, Newmarket lost and found. Auckland: Bush Press (for the Newmarket Business Association), 2001, p. 135. › Back
How to cite this page:

Margaret McClure, 'Auckland places - Central suburbs: Parnell to One Tree Hill', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/auckland-places/page-12 (accessed 29 March 2017)

Story by Margaret McClure, published 6 Dec 2007, updated 5 Aug 2016