Parnell, New Zealand
Parnell is a suburb of Auckland, New Zealand. It is often billed as Auckland's "oldest suburb" since it dates from the earliest days of the European settlement of Auckland in 1841. To its west lies the Auckland Domain, to the south Newmarket, and to the north the commercial area of St Georges Bay with mainly office-space.
Parnell Rise and Parnell Road make up the main road through Parnell. Parnell Rise leads to the central business district to the west; Parnell Road runs from Parnell Rise uphill to the top of the suburb, and then bends almost 90 degrees and continues towards Newmarket in the south-east. Parnell Road ends at the intersection of George and Sarawia Streets, where it becomes Broadway. Early European settlers knew Parnell Road as "Manukau Road" until well after the formation of Khyber Pass (or Khyber Pass Road) in 1845.
The Borough of Parnell, established in 1877, was amalgamated into the Auckland City Council area in 1913 or in 1915. The Parnell Road Board administered the area before the Borough was established.
While Parnell has so far never had a dedicated train station, it is planned to construct a new station near the Mainline Steam Depot at the west of the Parnell shops area, north of the Parnell Tunnel, which has been located under the suburbs since 1873.
The Anglican Cathedral, which stands at the top of the hill, has become an iconic feature of Parnell. It replaced the old wooden St Mary's, demolished in 1888, having served the community for 28 years. The current[update] building has two parts: the brick choir and body of the church date from about 1960 and represent a "modern" simplified version of Gothic. This closely resembles Guildford Cathedral, by Edward Maufe, completed in 1961. (Guildford exempllifies Municipal Gothic: one commentator[who?] described it as "the dying gasp of the Gothic Revival in England".) The massing of the forms, the detailing of the masonry and the smooth expanses of plain brick occur in both buildings. Over the transept entrance stands a bronze sculpture of the Archangel Michael defeating the Devil, very similar to the Epstein sculpture of the same subject on Coventry Cathedral (finished 1962).
The front part of the church, built in the 1990s to the design of Professor Richard Toy and John Sinclair, recalls the new Coventry Cathedral built after World War II. It features large stained-glass windows, illuminated by the sunlight at certain times of the day. Māori motifs and symbols appear in the newer part of the building, which awaits a large spire to finish the composition.
Next to this building stands the smaller wooden Gothic St Mary's. This dates from 1885 and served as the pro-cathedral after the demolition of the earlier St Mary's and until the building of the current cathedral. Designed by B.W Mountfort, it stood on the other side of Parnell Road until the 1980s.
Across the road, on St Stephens Avenue near the intersection with Parnell Road, stands Bishopscourt or Selwyn Court, the residence of the Anglican Bishop of Auckland. This wooden gothic house, designed by Frederick Thatcher, has a chapel and an octagonal turret. Bishop Selwyn and his wife moved here in May 1865.
In this area stand two houses of the same period as Bishopscourt, both open to the public: Kinder House, the residence of the Rev. John Kinder; and Ewelme Cottage. At the end of St Stephens Avenue one finds the Parnell Rose Gardens, Judges Bay and the Parnell Swimming Pool.
During the early 1970s the suburb became rather dilapidated. Les Harvey, a local businessman, created "Parnell Village" and revitalised the area as a week-end tourist shopping-destination. This involved Parnell re-inventing itself as a set of "Ye Olde Worlde Shoppes". As many other Victorian buildings underwent demolition in Auckland at the time, period materials became available cheaply, and the buildings of Parnell village emerged altered, extended and tarted up in a somewhat fanciful but fun ersatz Victorian style. Much of this restyling remains in evidence within Parnell Village and within the Parnell Road shopping area, under the ongoing ownership of the Harvey family's company, City Construction.
Along the upper part of Parnell Road stand a number of these houses, most of them now used by law firms, accountancy firms, shops, and a few restaurants.
The lower part of Parnell has a larger concentration of Edwardian retail buildings, including a number of fashionable boutiques, nightclubs and bars. The streets to each side of Parnell Road remain mainly residential in character, with some townhouses and apartments, especially towards St Georges Bay Road.
At the bottom of Parnell Rise runs Beach Road, so called because it ran round the beach-front of the now-reclaimed Mechanics Bay and Official Bay. St Georges Bay disappeared at the same time. Here stands the former Auckland Railway Station, an impressive brick 1930s structure, designed by Gummer and Ford. The City Fathers relocated the Railway Station here from the bottom of Queen Street to become the centrepiece for the new downtown business area of Auckland. The plan did not prove successful; the station building has ceased to operate as a station and the Britomart Transport Centre has taken over the earlier location. This has started to prove a great success.
Parnell lies within easy reach of two universities (University of Auckland and Auckland University of Technology) and of some significant State secondary schools: Auckland Grammar School, Epsom Girls Grammar School, St Peter's College and Baradene College of the Sacred Heart.
Parnell District School, which caters for Year 1-8 students is the second oldest school in Auckland.
Parnell plays host to several beautiful parks. Besides the main park known as The Rose Gardens, there are several other parks scattered around the area. Fraser Park also known by locals as "Mike Robinson Park", is located at the beginning of Parnell when coming from the CBD. Heard Park, in the centre of Parnell Village, was originally donated to the city in 1953 by the Heard family, the owners of Heards Candy.
The following served as Mayors of the Borough of Parnell until its incorporation into Auckland City:
- 1877–1877 Henry Matthew Nation
- 1877–1878 J.W. Melton
- 1878–1879 William Coleman
- 1879–1880 J.W. Robinson
- 1880–1881 J. Friar Clark
- 1881–1883 Robert Walker
- 1883–1885 D.H. McKenzie
- 1885–1887 Jonathan Winks
- 1887–1888 Seymour Thorne George
- 1888–1891 H.B. Sealy
- 1891–1892 Seymour Thorne George
- 1892–1894 John McCabe
- 1894–1895 George S. Kissling
- 1895–1896 Spencer Von Sturmer
- 1896–1897 Joseph Thornes
- 1897–1898 N.W. Pollard
- 1898–1903 Hugh Campbell
- 1903–1906 John Fitt
- 1906–1909 George W. Basley
- 1909–1913 Richard Stevenson Briggs
Parnell forms part of the Epsom Electorate for Parliamentary representation, and of the Hobson Ward for council representation within Auckland City. Parnell represents approximately 20% of the population in each of these. The current[update] Member of Parliament for Epsom, John Banks, represents ACT New Zealand. Banks won election in the 2011 general election. The serving[update] city councillors for the Hobson Ward all stood on the Citizens and Ratepayers Now ticket.
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- Selected Auckland City chronology 1840-1998, retrieved 2008-02-23
- G.W.A. Bush: "History of Auckland City", retrieved 2008-02-23
- Parnell, The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Auckland Provincial District], pp. 509–515. The Cyclopedia Company, Ltd, 1902, Christchurch. Retrieved 11 October 2010.
- "ARC presses for Parnell train station". The New Zealand Herald. 30 September 2010. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
- Lists of Auckland area mayors, retrieved 2008-02-23
- "ACT's John Banks wins Epsom, Brash quits". stuff.co.nz. 27 November 2011. Retrieved February 23, 2013.
- Lewis, Rebecca (16 November 2008). "And now John Key won't live here either". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 1 November 2011.
- Parnell Inc.'s Guide to Parnell
- Parnell Heritage Walks
- What's happening in Parnell
- Les Harvey - creator of Parnell Village
- Parnell District School