Albany, New Zealand

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A drawing (looking from the northwest) of how the Albany Town Centre could theoretically be built up if all development were carried out to the maximum allowed around 2006
A drawing (looking from the northwest) of how the Albany Town Centre could theoretically be built up if all development were carried out to the maximum allowed around 2006
Location of Albany in Auckland.
Location of Albany in Auckland.
Albany is located in New Zealand
Location of Albany in Auckland.
Coordinates: 36°43′S 174°42′E / 36.717°S 174.700°E / -36.717; 174.700Coordinates: 36°43′S 174°42′E / 36.717°S 174.700°E / -36.717; 174.700
CountryNew Zealand
Local authorityAuckland Council
Electoral wardAlbany
 • Total3,057
Albany North Albany Heights
The Landing Brookfield Rosedale

Albany is one of the northernmost suburbs of the contiguous Auckland metropolitan area in New Zealand. It is located to the north of the Waitematā Harbour,

15 kilometres (9.3 mi) northwest of the Auckland city centre. The suburb is in the Albany ward, one of the thirteen administrative divisions of Auckland Council. One of the city's newest suburbs, it was until relatively recently a town in its own right, and still has a feeling of not being truly a part of the city, which lies predominantly to the southeast of it. Much of the land to the north of Albany is still semi-rural.

The Māori name for the area was Okahukura (literally, 'place of rainbows' or 'place of butterflies'). The town was originally known as Lucas Creek. By 1890 it was a fruit-growing area and in that year it was renamed 'Albany' after the fruit-growing district called 'Albany' in Australia, pronounced with a short 'a' as in Albert.[1][2] The name Albany derives from Alba (Gaelic for Scotland) and its Latinisation.

City planning

In 2005, there were plans to turn a major swath of Albany into a planned mini-urban centre, described as a "happy mix of businesses, hotels, shops, apartments, and entertainment (including) an environment of parks and lakes and of tree-lined streets, paths and cycleways linking to the new park-and-ride bus station and the rapid-busway lanes along the Northern Motorway to downtown Auckland", according to a newspaper report.[3] It would be home to 10,000 people.[3] Authorities wanted sound-proofed apartments against outside noise.[3] Initial plans called for hotels, library, municipal swimming pool as well as the headquarters for the North Shore City Council.[3] In some respects, development has proceeded accordingly, but the 2008–09 economic downturn has blunted some of this activity.


The population was 3,057 in the 2013 Census, an increase of 888 from the 2006 Census.[4] There were 1,092 occupied dwellings in Albany in 2013,[4] and demographic makeup was 73% European, 5% Maori, 2% Pacific peoples, 22% Asian, 3% Middle Eastern/Latin American/African, and 1% other.[4] The median income of $32,600 was higher than for the Auckland Region of $29,600.[4] Unemployment in Albany was 7.0%, lower than the Auckland average of 8.1%.[4] 91% had internet access and 88% had cell phones.[4] Cars were prevalent.[4] A near majority (48%) were born overseas.[4] Ethnically, in keeping with the wider North Shore, Albany was predominantly Pakeha and Asian, and had a relatively high proportion of recent migrants from both elsewhere in New Zealand and overseas.

Retail and commercial activity

Albany has become, in some respects, a substantial shopping and retail zone within the northwestern Auckland area.

The area (the future 'Albany Town Centre') is fast-growing in terms of its population and the development of the built environment, following planning decisions and land sales made by central and local governments in the 1980s and 1990s. Through the 1990s industrial and retail areas were rapidly produced, predominantly owned and occupied by local and foreign corporate capital. A major shopping centre hub was opened in the late 1990s and has since expanded, with Westfield Albany becoming New Zealand's largest shopping centre. The so-called supermall opened in August 2007 on McKinnon Drive costing $210 million with 142 shops built by over 3500 workers, which features 1800 cinema seats and an indoor area of 7ha.[5] There is parking for 2300 vehicles.[5] Kmart, Farmers, and New World stores are anchors.[5] The mall claimed it provides "free space for community organisations for awareness and fundraising activities" but one volunteer claimed he was ejected from the premises while trying to raise money for veterans because of a dispute with mall management.[6]

There has been development of a substantial retail project anchored by a 10,000 square metre Mega Mitre 10 store on Oteha Valley Road, across from the North Harbour Stadium, run by Symphony Projects Management.[7]

Albany has been the site of a $500 million so-called Super City showcase development project. Plans in 2006 featured a 200-room hotel, apartment complex with three 30-storey towers, and up to 15 office blocks rising 10 levels high.[8] But in the economic downturn of 2008–09, the project was in dire straits; one report suggested up to 350 investors (many elderly) risked losing up to $20 million.[9]

Albany has a site for Sky Television's Prime TV, as well as the Broadcast Centre for Sky PPV.

There are movie theatres[10] including the 1800-seat multiplex inside the new mall, although there were reports of roof problems and weathertightness.[11] A large furniture store opened in May 2009 creating up to 30 jobs.[12] High tech firms such as Garmin, a firm specializing in satellite navigation and communications technology, has a showroom in Albany.[13] There are upscale restaurants.[14][15] Surf-wear fashion retailer Billabong has an outlet store in Albany.[16][17][18]

Residential real estate

Considerable housing development has also taken place since the early 1990s, which has been facilitated by the extension of the Northern Motorway through the area. There are upscale properties; one large property (318 sq m) on 2ha of land, with a six-bedroom three-bathroom five-car garage house with a pool and solar-powered stable for horses including a "hoof soaking path" cost approximately $1.5 million in 2006.[19] In 2005, the rent for a two bedroom apartment (part of a four bedroom house with a two car garage) was $300 per week.[20]


Albany has one of the Auckland Region's newest sports facilities, North Harbour Stadium. It draws 25,000 spectators to games[3] and is home to North Harbour rugby team in the ITM Cup and occasionally hosts Super 15 matches of the Blues. It was also a stadium used in the 2011 Rugby World Cup. Albany has a gymnasium where New Zealand taekwondo Olympic representatives Logan Campbell and Robin Cheong trained in 2008 under the guidance of their coach Grandmaster Jin Keun Oh. [21] It has a tennis park.[22] Rugby teams practice regularly.[23]

The North Harbour BMX club has a race track at Bush Road, Albany where many New Zealand reps have trained and raced.[24]

Albany is home to the Albany United association football club, who compete in the Northern Regional Football League Division 2. North Harbour Stadium occasionally hosts All Whites matches.


The Albany Busway Station connecting to the Northern Busway was opened in 2005.


View of Lucas Creek in Kell Park, Albany.

The North Shore City council expanded Albany's parkland; in 2007, it paid $3 million for new land totalling 7,000 square metres (75,347 sq ft).[25] There was approximately 1,200 ha (2,965 acres) of parkland across the city.[25] Kell Park reserve next to the new Albany Village Library was known for its free-range Bantam chicken population and pirate ship flying fox playground.

A Council notice stated: "It is prohibited to abandon chickens or to uplift them from this area." It also listed chicken "re-home" options. The city has traditionally allowed chickens to roam free; according to one newspaper report, "chickens are undeniably something of a traditional presence in Albany ... Poultry have been roaming free there for more than 30 years, acquiring an iconic status and helping to attract visitors while inspiring a bronze rooster statue and a logo that's proudly emblazoned on local lamp posts."[26] But in 2008 the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals objected, causing controversy.[26] There were health issues as well, with bird droppings on playgrounds and seats and picnic areas and incidents of birds being run over by vehicles.[27] But when North Shore City Council officers were ordered to shoot chickens, it caused controversy including an outburst from Auckland City Mayor John Banks, saying the shootings were "an act of wanton destruction and an animal rights outrage."[27] In 2008, while Albany village continues to have a rooster on its logo, the free-roaming chicken population is no more, although there was talk of a managed population at Kell Park.[28]


Albany Primary School is a contributing primary (years 1-6) school[29] with a roll of 753 as of March 2019.[30]

Kristin School is an independent composite school[31] offering the International Baccalaureate. It has a roll of 1602 as of March 2019.[30]

Pinehurst School is a private composite (years 1-13) school[32] with a roll of 916 as of March 2019.[30]

Albany Junior High School at North Harbour was opened in 2005,[33][34] and has a roll of 1282 as of March 2019.[30]

Albany Senior High School opened in 2009 for year 11-13 students.[35] Due to delays in completing the Senior campus, the Senior High School initially shared the Albany Junior High School site.[36] There was controversy about cost overruns when Albany Senior High school was under construction in 2008.[37] The new building opened in 2009 to serve 1400 persons.[38] It has a roll of 869 as of March 2019.[30][39]

All schools are coeducational and have a decile rating of 10.

Albany contains the northern campus of Massey University. It offers 70 majors plus specialised programmes including Mathematics and Information Sciences, Fundamental Sciences, Food Technology, Engineering, Design, Jazz, Social Sciences, Business, Philosophy[40] and Education.[41] The school has three areas: East Precinct off State Highway 17; Oteha Rohe, off the Albany Highway; Albany Village Precinct off Kell Drive and State Highway 17, where the Schools of Engineering, Design and Psychology are.[41] It has a campus shuttle bus between the three campuses leaving every 40 to 45 minutes.[41] There are bus routes to Albany.[41]

The former Centrepoint commune was on farmland near the town centre. After Bert Potter, its founder and leader, was imprisoned on drug and sex abuse charges in 1992,[42] it declined and in 2000 it closed. It was replaced by the Kahikatea Eco-Village and Art-Space.[43] It has been converted into a research centre for natural medicine, offering courses in aromatherapy, nutrition, naturopathy, herbalism, yoga and ayurvedic medicine.[44]


  1. ^ Mahoney, Liz (1998). "Edge city". New Zealand Geographic (37). Retrieved 17 August 2017.
  2. ^ Baker, Amy (22 August 2017). "History books offer 'definite' guidance on pronunciation of Albany". Stuff. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e Wayne Thompson (25 October 2005). "Albany blueprint gets green light". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h 2013 Census QuickStats about a place : Albany
  5. ^ a b c Anne Gibson (23 August 2007). "Countdown under way for Albany supermall rollout". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  6. ^ Tahana, Yvonne (22 April 2008). "Poppy Appeal clash at Albany mall". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  7. ^ Gibson, Anne (10 October 2007). "DIY centre to join Albany retail scene". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  8. ^ Gibson, Anne (17 November 2006). "Albany to grow into city in own right". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  9. ^ Gibson, Anne (9 June 2009). "Investors risk losing $20m on Albany project". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  10. ^ "Cinema". New Zealand Herald. 15 September 2009. Archived from the original on 25 May 2010. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  11. ^ Anne Gibson (11 July 2008). "Engineers called in after leaks shut giant cinema". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  12. ^ "Freedom Furniture to open Albany store". New Zealand Herald. 26 May 2009. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  13. ^ "Garmin in Albany". New Zealand Herald. 17 January 2009. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  14. ^ Falconer, Phoebe (15 May 2009). "Wine Box Cafe, Albany". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  15. ^ Calder, Peter (1 June 2009). "Paper Moon Cafe, Albany". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  16. ^ "Billabong Outlet Shop". New Zealand Herald. 15 September 2009. Archived from the original on 11 April 2010. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  17. ^ Colin Taylor (20 June 2009). "Investors jump on board big Albany syndication scheme". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  18. ^ "Totara, Albany". New Zealand Herald. 23 June 2008. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  19. ^ Goodwin, Sandra (4 March 2006). "Albany: Free rein". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  20. ^ "Albany: Home and income". New Zealand Herald. 14 May 2005. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  21. ^ Dana Johannsen (18 July 2008). "Taekwondo: Campbell's fighting chance". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  22. ^ "Tennis: Statham to lead Davis Cup team at Albany". New Zealand Herald. 6 March 2009. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  23. ^ "Rugby: Teams for pre-season action in Albany, Rotorua". New Zealand Herald. 21 January 2009. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  24. ^ North Harbour BMX
  25. ^ a b Wayne Thompson (10 July 2007). "$2.99m for Albany parkland". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  26. ^ a b Bob Kerridge (29 May 2008). "Bob Kerridge: Tradition, tourism can't justify cruelty". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  27. ^ a b Alice Neville (27 May 2008). "Banks calls chook shoot 'wanton destruction' (+video)". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  28. ^ "Hens no longer rule roost in Albany". New Zealand Herald. 9 April 2008. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  29. ^ Education Counts: Albany Primary School
  30. ^ a b c d e "Directory of Schools - as at 3 April 2019". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  31. ^ Education Counts: Kristin School
  32. ^ Education Counts: Pinehurst School
  33. ^ Gibson, Anne (19 October 2005). "High winds take small toll of apartment block". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  34. ^ Education Counts: Albany Junior High School
  35. ^ McKenzie-Minifie, Martha (9 May 2007). "School bell delay to let students 'wake up'". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
  36. ^ McKenzie-Minifie, Martha (8 July 2008). "$7m cost of temporary campus at Albany Senior High". The New Zealand Herald.
  37. ^ Martha McKenzie-Minifie (8 July 2008). "$7m cost of temporary campus at Albany Senior High". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  38. ^ Wayne Thompson (13 September 2006). "Plan for secondary school at Albany angers residents". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  39. ^ Education Counts: Albany Senior High School
  40. ^ Zealand, Massey University, New. "Philosophy - Massey University". Archived from the original on 11 October 2016. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  41. ^ a b c d "Massey University Albany". Massey University. 15 September 2009. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  42. ^ "Bert Potter -The Centrepoint Community". Retrieved 17 July 2009.
  43. ^ Jones, Megan (4 May 2008). "Memory won't fade easily from Centrepoint property". The New Zealand Herald.
  44. ^ Gibson, Anne (17 December 2008). "Healing touch for Centrepoint site". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 15 September 2009.

Further reading

  • Reed, A. W. (2002). The Reed Dictionary of New Zealand Place Names. Auckland: Reed Books. ISBN 0-7900-0761-4.

External links