NEW ZEALAND - Auckland - Pakuranga
Peter Jackson - RMBX 2172 - Bassoon
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Peter Jackson > Recollections
the Maori language, Auckland is known as Tamaki Makau Rau, the city
of 100 lovers. It earned this name because it was a place desired by
all and conquered by many.
The battle raged fiercely near Pigeon Mountain until the Hunua tohunga (priest) caused the sun to rise prematurely.
The red-hot fiery rays caught the Waitakere turehu by surprise and caused them to perish. It is said the "turehu" came out only at night and withdrew back to the forests before sunrise.
Hence the name of the battleground – 'battle of the sun's rays' or Pakuranga, as we know it today.
The first European settlers to move to Pakuranga were Fencibles from Howick. They established themselves in Pigeon Mountain and Bucklands Beach – feeling an affinity to the countryside that reminded them of home. This fact is reflected in the names of areas such as Bleak House, Butley Manors and Sorrel Hill.
Pakuranga developed to become a rich farming district and few were more successful than the Maclean brothers. They farmed a large area stretching from Bucklands Beach to Butley Manor and across to Bleakhouse.
Cattle sheep, horses and pigs were bred, and many settlers were employed to help on the farm. Crops also flourished in the favourable growing conditions, with much of the produce consumed by residents of nearby Howick. The surplus was sent to the markets in Auckland.
In 1866, in an attempt to improve travel from the eastern districts to the rest of Auckland, a bridge was built spanning the Tamaki River from Pakuranga to Panmure. This signalled the end of 15 years of service by a leaky punt that had previously ferried people, carts, stores and stock across the river. At the Pakuranga end a swivel attachement allowed a 40-foot section of the bridge to open and permit large vessels up the river. The current Panmure bridge was built in 1959.
From the 1860’s to the 1940’s there were few changes in Pakuranga. The farms remained modest holdings changing from crops of wheat, oats and potatoes, to cattle, sheep and particularly dairy cattle for town milk supply, butter and cheese. The “commercial centre” of Pakuranga was near the Pakuranga College of today.
Pakuranga in 1947 had a population of 277 and Howick 1000.
In the 1950s Pakuranga started to change from a farming community to a residential suburb of Auckland. Today Pakuranga is an attractive residential suburb of Auckland with a few pockets of light industry.
In 1965 the Pakuranga Town Centre and Ti Rakau Drive were established.
By the 1980s Pakuranga had virtually ceased to grow as very green field sites were available for development, however a recent rend for infill housing has led to a slow population increase over the last decade.