Seniors from all over the Whau came together at the New Lynn Community Centre in mid-July to experience a range of fun activities and helpful services.
Organised by Sara Mihaere from Green Bay Community House and RJ from Glenavon Hub, the event aimed to provide seniors with a day of fun and connection, and a chance to discover some of the activities and services that are available to them in the Whau.
The event, which was funded by the Whau Local Board, saw over 75 seniors enjoy a delicious, boxed morning tea from The Wardoom café, and engage in some competitive fun with bingo and bowls.
Passionate service providers from Heart Foundation, Melanoma NZ, Diabetes NZ, Bowel Screening, Prostate NZ, Communicare, Age Concern, Hospice West Auckland, BHB Library, BHB Community Centre, Rebus Club, and Grey Power also came along to connect with the attendees, offering free health checks and sharing information about how they can access their services in the community.
Sara and RJ want to express their gratitude to all who came and helped make the event a real highlight for our seniors.
In a rationalisation of property, the site of the Rosebank Peninsula Church has been sold for intensive housing. Siteworks saw the felling of the mature trees and the removal of Victoria Hall. The building will be repurposed as part of the Communities Feeding Communities initiative on the former St Giles Church land in Roskill South.
The hall, including 12 seats, was purchased for £40 in 1897 through the contributions of around 90 Rosebank residents, keen to have a local venue for social as well as religious activity. According to The Challenge of the Whau (Ron Oates, Avondale History Group, 1994), the Victoria Hall was originally sited in Eden Terrace in Auckland Central and used as a Jewish synagogue. The church was hauled out by a team of horses to the corner of Orchard Street and Rosebank Road. However, this is disputed as it is difficult to find evidence that this building was in fact a synagogue.
Led by Quakers, the vision for the interdenominational use of the church came into reality. Over the decades, users included the Salvation Army, Seventh Day Adventists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Catholics, Anglicans, and eventually a Union Parish Samoan congregation.
The venue was also used by other groups such as the Band of Hope, Avondale Road Board, Emergency Precaution Scheme (for World War II civil defence), Cadets, Life Boys, Avondale Kindergarten, Rosebank Plunket Group, Rosebank Play Centre, Avondale Citizens Advice Bureau Drop-in Centre, and for elections.
Now, Victoria Hall has been transported to Roskill South for the next phase of its life in a different community. There, the suburb has been rebuilt with hundreds of new homes as Kāinga Ora intensifies housing, replacing stock from the 1950s and 60s. To support the community initiative, the hall will be remodelled to accommodate a meeting space, a foodbank with a commercial kitchen, offices, and bathrooms.
Presbyterian Support Northern Community Relationship manager Anne Overton says moving Victoria Hall is a huge milestone for the initiative. “This grand old dame of a building has a lovely spirit and stood to be demolished before we claimed her. It’s going to be wonderful to see her brought back to life and be at the heart of what we want to do here.”
Northern Presbytery Reverend Fa’amanu Akeripa, who is based on site, says he hopes that the hall will help create a new community of faith. “It is exciting that the hall will be at the heart of the Roskill South community. For me, it is about building a sense of ownership for the people and that they will in the long term see this as their spiritual home for Roskill South.”
There will be fruit trees, urban gardens, and allotments for those living in apartments or homes without access to the space needed to grow fresh food. The site will also have a small basketball court, an interactive, sensory children’s play area, and a picnic area with a pizza oven for people to spend time and connect. “We realised that new pathways needed to be created that led to food security for these families and a more empowering way found for communities to access food with dignity, that was also more sustainable.” says Anne Overton.
Buildings need a purpose to have life. Victoria Hall has a new vision and purpose at the heart of a new community food security model.
Ann Fletcher Jackson - The woman behind Victoria Hall
Portrait of Ann Fletcher Jackson (1833-1903), Quaker evangelist, and her daughter Bertha Jackson, 1864-1936, taken ca 1890 by an unknown photographer. Ann Fletcher Jackson is seated on the right, holding a book on her lap. Credit: Weber, E Ruth: Photograph of Ann Fletcher Jackson, 1833-1903, and Bertha Jackson, 1864-1936. Ref: PA12-2291. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22543036
Victoria Hall and Avondale were the epicentre of Society of Friends (Quakers) in New Zealand. This was due to the work of Anne Fletcher Jackson (1833 – 1903).
At age 11 Ann was sent to a Society of Friends School (Quaker) at Ackworth, West Yorkshire, studying there for three years. She recalled later in life that once she had come home from the school, a ministry Friend paid a visit to her home and told her the following: “I hope dear thou wilt be faithful to the call of the Lord, for I believe He will call thee to special service for Him, to preach the Gospel in distant places and be a comfort to many far and near; only be faithful.” Ann was to remember this as a basis for her later ministry work in New Zealand and Australia.
Anne and her husband Thomas had seven children surviving from eleven, by the time they immigrated to New Zealand in 1879. They took up a 300-acre farm near Whangarei that was mostly in bush, and held regular Quaker Meetings for Worship at their home, inviting neighbours to join them. Anne became a speaker at many local church meetings and by 1885 her work to create a Quaker network had reached a rapidly growing Auckland. Working with local Friends, she worked tirelessly to establish a Meeting for Worship in Auckland, and by the end of the year this was achieved.
From 1886, Anne Fletcher Jackson travelled widely in New Zealand. She was usually accompanied by her husband or one of her sons as she undertook journeys by whatever means possible - on foot, by cart, or by coastal steamer. By the time of her death in 1903, through her efforts and supported by funding from English Quakers, a network of Friends had been established from Dunedin in the south to the far north.
A combination of the distance from Whangarei to Auckland, over often impassable roads, plus Ann’s increasing poor health, led the family to sell their farm in January 1893 and move to Avondale.
There, they saw the need for a place of worship in Rosebank, so they offered their home for that purpose. When the attendance grew too large, they initiated the purchase of Victoria Hall. This was obtained for the purpose of inter-denominational services, with the assistance of funds collected by English Friends. Over the following decades, many denominations used the church. This provided “a hall suitable for philanthropic, religious and temperance work,” the purpose stated in the address given at the opening of the hall in 1897.
According to Sarah Jane Lury, the first to write a brief biography on this hard-working woman, Ann Fletcher Jackson in her time living in New Zealand, had travelled over 50,000 miles in the colonies in religious service.
Ann Jackson’s story can be read in the twelve volumes of her journals recording her progress in the spiritual life and her service to the Society over a period of forty years. As does not seem unlikely for a mother who had borne eleven children in fourteen years, she suffered considerable bodily weakness, but regarded the desire for rest as a temptation. She was generally successful in resisting such temptations, often to the distress of her family. [West & Falwell]
Both Thomas and Ann are buried alongside their son Henry in George Maxwell Memorial Cemetery in Rosebank.
Article drawn from: The story of Victoria Hall, 2001-2002 compiled by Lisa Truttman
Last month Aussie Butcher New Lynn’s Reuben Sharples dropped in on the Kindness Collective with a gift of top-quality mince from Pure South New Zealand – enough to feed 120 families!
The Kindness Collective is a New Zealand charity that spreads kindness by connecting children and families with the things they need.
The Collective works with numerous schools, early childhood education centres, social services, community groups, public service agencies and other charities by meeting needs in the community with resources, tools, time, and money. They are essentially a match-making service, matching those in need with those who have more to share.
The meat is halal certified so went straight to Kāhui Tū Kaha's refugee families and MDM Women's Refuge safe houses. As sad as it is to say, meat is a real treat for families living with food insecurity, so Reuben’s gift was very much appreciated.
Eke Panuku Development Auckland has signed a sale and development agreement for a 1.58-hectare development block in Avondale town centre to Marutūāhu-Ockham Group, marking a significant milestone for the regeneration of this vibrant city fringe neighbourhood.
With easy access to transport links, the development of this central site is destined to offer more than 500 homes directly adjoining the future site of Auckland Council’s eagerly anticipated multimillion-dollar investment in a new town square, multi-purpose library and community facility, as well as provide new retail and commercial premises along the site’s Great North Road edge.
As the city’s urban regeneration agency, Eke Panuku is tasked to lead the regeneration of Avondale enabling homes, community spaces and better transport connections.
The 1.58-hectare development block comprises two large sites at 6 and 10 Racecourse Parade which Eke Panuku has sold together.
The first, known locally as ‘the 3 Guys site’ has been bare for many years. Following recent negotiations to purchase the adjacent site at 10 Racecourse Parade from Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, Eke Panuku has been able to take both to the market as one larger site allowing for a significant development opportunity.
Eke Panuku Priority Location Director - West, John Carter, says “Through collaborating with our partners such as Kāinga Ora, we can deliver an outcome for this neighbourhood that otherwise would not have been possible. These sites are part of a programme of residential development in central Avondale which has been supported through strategic land acquisition. We have been able to assemble a site of scale that can deliver well designed homes and commercial spaces right in the centre of Avondale.”
Mayor Phil Goff says the regeneration of central Avondale is much needed and long overdue. “For years, sites such as the one once occupied by 3 Guys have been left vacant, creating an atmosphere of neglect,” he says.
Marutūāhu-Ockham Group’s Mark Todd says, “Our plans propose eight buildings of differing heights and configurations, featuring sustainable homes to a minimum of a 6 Homestar rating with integrated outdoor spaces for residents and a public walkway joining to the new town square. We look forward to working further with other key community leaders to bring this key site to life as we have done with our other Avondale developments.”
Whau Local Board Chair Kay Thomas says, “The community has been keenly awaiting an update on the future of this site and I am thrilled that Eke Panuku has secured a development partner with the vision to help unlock the potential of this central location.”
Whau Ward Councillor Tracy Mulholland added “This announcement really underlines why Council’s investment in key infrastructure is so important in our communities. Our commitment to the ongoing regeneration of the Avondale town centre with the new Library and Community Hub and town square shows that with the right infrastructure other partners will be encouraged to work with us to develop the Avondale of the future.”
Marcus Amosa, chair of the Avondale Business Association says “I couldn’t think of a better outcome for Avondale. This announcement is the result of public and private sector organisations collaboratively working together for the best outcome. The 3 Guys site has been an eyesore in Avondale that has cut our mainstreet in half for over 20 years. This announcement today will finally reconnect both sides of Avondale's mainstreet retail strip and inject new life into our town centre.
“Avondale is such a unique and creative place. With all of us working together with a shared vision, this will enhance all the features that we love as well as bring new elements into our neighbourhood. It's great to see that Eke Panuku has chosen a development partner with a track record in Avondale and a reputation for high quality developments. Really excited about this one."
The development block does not include the corner site at 1907 Great North Road, owned and operated by Kings Foodmart.
Our Government has taken the next step to support New Zealanders with the cost of living. To fight inflation and ease the pressure, we’ve extended the fuel tax cut, reduced road user charges, and kept half price public transport in place for everyone until the end of January 2023.
These extensions are one way we can make life more affordable for people and provide more certainty in the face of volatile prices at the petrol pump. This will also help reduce the fuel burden on businesses and keep the cost of food and essential goods lower across the board.
The first of our new cost of living payments will go out soon, supporting more than two million New Zealanders. This sits alongside our Winter Energy Payment. When taken together, these payments will support 81% of New Zealanders aged 18 and over with their bills this year.
We’re also fixing the supermarket sector and increasing competition to make sure that Kiwis pay a fair price at the checkout. This includes calling on supermarkets to open up wholesale access for their competitors at a fair price – or we will do it for them through law. This will make it easier for new competitors to enter the grocery market and ensure fairer prices.
The minimum wage has been raised again, with this year’s increase worth more than $2,500 a year for full-time workers. Alongside this, we’ve boosted Superannuation and Working for Families, as well as rolling out cheaper doctors’ visits, free school lunches and more.
These measures build on the work we’ve done since taking office to make life more affordable for New Zealanders, as we move forward with our plan to grow a secure economy for all.
Global pressures mean there’s no easy fix, but our Government will continue to provide support in the face of inflation to help families and businesses here in the New Lynn Electorate, and across the country to get ahead.
Deborah Russell, MP for New Lynn