While most areas have a business association that promotes strong economic outcomes for their area, there is no such formal association within the Puketapapa/Mt Roskill district.
With the aim of establishing a unified voice among the various business areas within the borders of Puketapapa, a group has been initiated by Mt Roskill local Ella Kumar to explore ways to benefit all the businesses in the area.
“I see this as an opportunity for local businesses to gather together to support one another, find strength in unity, and to work towards a robust future,” says Ella.
The purpose of group – to be known as the Puketapapa Business Voice - is to create a vibrant, unified voice within the local business communities, but initially aims to provide a forum for discussion, to determine what some of the issues are facing the local business community, to establish a core working group, and to offer support to its members.
A preliminary meeting was held in early March at Alisha’s Café in Carr Road, and Ella was encouraged by the attendance of representatives from businesses in the Hillsborough, Stoddard Road, White Swan Rd and Carr Road business communities.
The next meeting is planned for early May, and all local businesses within the Puketapapa area are invited to come and share thoughts, concerns and ideas, and to get to know one another over a coffee.
If you would like to attend the next meeting, register your interest, or to find out more, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Ella Kumar on 021-0477-642 or 09 629-0660.
A petition has been started to restore the cross which sat on top of Puketapapa/Mt Roskill for almost sixty years. The structure which was lit up at Christmas in the shape of a cross, and at Easter in the shape of a star, was erected by local churches and the Mt Roskill Borough Council around 1960.
It is considered by many locals to be part of the heritage and local identity of the area, and an enduring symbol of hope and goodwill to passers-by and visitors for generations.
Although now known for being one of the most ethnically-diverse areas in the country, Mt Roskill was once dubbed the ‘Bible belt’. In the late 1980s the borough had 26 churches for its 35,000 residents.
While intended to only be erected at Christmas and Easter, an oversight at the time the super city was established in 2010 saw the cross remain year-round until its removal in June 2015 as part of the decisions made over Auckland's mountains by the Maunga Authority.
Then, in March last year the plinth and pole at the tihi (summit) of the mountain, which provided the central structure for the cross and star, was removed as part of the work to reinstate the tihi and return it to a fully grassed area.
The petition, which has been instigated by local residents Ella Kumar, Jonathan Subritzky, Fonoti Luke Gates and Peter Potatau, asks for the Maunga Authority to grant the return of Mount Roskill's cross/star to the summit of Mt Roskill at Christmas and Easter.
To sign the online Change.org petition please search for “Restore Mt Roskill’s Cross”. There are also a number of physical copies to sign in church foyers across Mt Roskill, and also in the offices of City Property Management in the Blockhouse Bay village (557 BHB Rd). The petition team looks forward to sharing further updates on their Facebook page as Easter draws near.
A recent addition to Blockhouse Bay’s café scene is Glen’s Café. However, this café is unlikely to be on most people’s café circuit given that it’s run entirely by students at Glenavon School.
Former café owner and past Glenavon teacher, Mr Grant O’Connor, launched the café project in October 2017 with the aim of providing the students with authentic learning experiences that would give them real-world skills.
Glen’s Café is run with the support of Allpress Coffee who provided the coffee machine, supply the beans and trained the teachers who then pass on their skills to the students.
The intermediate-aged students apply for the year-long course by submitting a CV, and once selected they spend the first term in training, learning the art of making a good coffee, and the science behind it. Over the course of the year the students become very competent baristas, and are also trained in other aspects of café work such as serving, money handling, cleaning and food prep.
The café is open to school families and staff during lunchtimes to purchase coffees, and students are allowed to buy hot chocolates during their breaks.
Glenavon teacher Miss Libby Brown has taken on the job of training the new intake of barista students to join the Glen’s Café team, which this year plans to add healthy food to the menu, including cheese and baked bean toasties.
Ryman Healthcare construction workers at Lynfield’s Murray Halberg retirement village are excited to see the next stage to be completed slowly emerging from under the scaffolding.
The care centre block, which is nearest to Commodore Drive on the left of the village driveway, will soon house hospital, rest home and special care residents and should be scaffold-free by mid to late April, said Project Manager Dave McKearney.
“The façade is 75 per cent done and I expect it to be finished in about one and a half months,” he said. “It’s great to see the finished exterior starting to appear from behind the scaffolding.”
Meanwhile, work on the main village centre further up the hill is progressing well. The centre will be the social heart of the village, containing communal areas such as the reception, residents’ lounge and dining areas as well as the indoor pool, movie theatre and hair and beauty salons.
“The most complex part of that building should be completed by the end of March. After that it’s just two levels of simple concrete structure, so we’ll be on track to finish the structural part by around mid-April,” Dave said.
The second apartment block to be opened, on the right of the village entrance and situated behind the first apartment block, was being prepared for a concrete pour on level two. After that there would be another two levels to do before the roof goes on.
There is also progress on the next apartment block to be ready after that, Dave said, which is behind the village centre on the hill. The area has been dug out to the right height ready for piling and foundation work which will start once the correct consents come through from Auckland Council.
“Meanwhile we have been working on the roading and landscaping around the main centre and retaining walls,” said Dave.
“We’ve had such a great summer it’s meant we’ve been able to get a lot done on site. However, the heat is pretty hard on the guys so we’ve put in plenty of shade areas and water stations around the site to keep everyone as cool and hydrated as possible.
“It’s hardest for the boys working on the slab though, it’s pretty intense for them.” Dave said discussions were under way to work out whether Lynfield residents would see three tower cranes on their horizon. “It will depend on whether the next independent apartment block can start before the village centre is finished so we’re just looking at those timelines now,” Dave said.