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Location of Avondale in Auckland
|Local authority||Auckland Council|
|Electoral ward||Whau ward|
|Train station(s)||Avondale Railway Station|
|Green Bay||Blockhouse Bay|
Avondale is a suburb in the west of Auckland, New Zealand, located in the Whau ward, one of the thirteen administrative divisions for the Auckland Council. It was originally called Te Whau, which is the common name, of Māori origin, for Entelea arborescens, a native tree.
The first European settler in the area was John Sheddon Adam in 1843, but settlement did not occur in larger numbers until the late 1850s, with the completion of Great North Road. Expansion was rapid, with churches, stores and a public hall built by 1867. With a railway connection to the settlement in 1880, the rate of settlement increased further. Te Whau became Avondale District on 5 June 1882, although the old name survives in the Whau River, an estuarial arm of the Waitematā Harbour, which runs along the western edge of the suburb. A prominent community leader and Member of Parliament was John Bollard, who lived in Avondale from 1861 to 1915.
Early industries included brickyards, tanneries, mills and pottery works. Avondale also had numerous market gardens, especially on the Rosebank Peninsula. It was here that the "Hayward" cultivar of the Chinese gooseberry, later known as the kiwifruit, was developed by Hayward Wright.
From the mid-1920s Avondale became increasingly suburban. In 1927 the Avondale Borough Council was absorbed into the Auckland City Council.
The so-called Avondale spider (Delena cancerides), an introduced species of a spectacular but harmless Australian huntsman spider, was for decades only found in the area surrounding Avondale, and thus received its New Zealand name. It was introduced to New Zealand in a shipment of timber to the Aitkins Timber Yard in Patiki Road, and was left to spread, so its distribution pattern might help with the identification of future introduced species dispersal.
In 2017, the council-controlled organisation Panuku Development Auckland announced a major redevelopment of Avondale town centre, including a new library building, community and recreation centre, increased housing and local business development.
Avondale had a local government just like other suburbs of Auckland at that time. The local government was called Avondale Borough Council, which started in 1922 and merged into Auckland City Council in 1927, eventually amalgamated into Auckland Council in November 2010.
Mayors during Avondale Borough Council
- 1922–1923 James Watkin Kinniburgh
- 1923–1927 William John Tait
- 1927–1927 Edward Ernest Copsey
- 1927–1927 Herbert Tiarks
Avondale is home to Avondale College, the third largest high school in New Zealand. Avondale also has two state primary schools and a state intermediate school, as well as a state-integrated Catholic pre-school/primary-intermediate school, St Mary's.
The Avondale Jockey Club operates the Avondale Racecourse - one of only two gallops tracks in suburban Auckland. The racecourse is also the location of the Avondale Sunday markets, the largest in the country. The interior of the racecourse is occupied by several sports fields, which are used for rugby union, rugby league, soccer and cricket. A set of netball courts are located adjacent to the racecourse. Additional sports facilities are located along Rosebank Road, at Eastdale Reserve and Riversdale Reserve.
Avondale has a local branch of the Auckland Libraries system.
Places of Worship
- "Panuku Development Auckland". panuku.co.nz (Press release). 7 November 2017. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
- Lisa Truttman, 2003, Heart of The Whau, The Story of the Centre of Avondale 1841-2001, Words Incorporated.