30 Reasons why we Love the Greater Ponsonby area...

There is much to celebrate when a community magazine turns 30 and there are many businesses, organisations, people and places that make our area the diverse, vibrant community that so many of us love.

1. Glengarry
Glengarry’s has been a part of Ponsonby News from our first issue. With stores on Ponsonby Road, Jervois Road, Wellesley Street, Garnet Road and their new one on Williamson Avenue, there is a Glengarry store for every Ponsonby News reader.

2. Walking
We all love that just about everything you need is within easy walking distance. Ponsonby News readers can keep their carbon footprint low and their heart rates up walking to favourite cafes, bars, the nearest library, doctors, exercise classes, supermarkets or the bus stop to get into the city.

3. Link Bus routes
We love that most of our delivery areas are on the Link Bus route and get a real kick out of seeing people reading the magazine on the commute. We also love the new number 20 crosstown bus.

4. Electric scooters
Getting around from one side of Freemans Bay to the other side of Westmere is easy on one of the many electric scooters available around the area.

5. Food
There are cafes and restaurants that have stood the test of time, and more recent places that are becoming dear to our hearts. Just to name a few: Andiamo, Augustus, Blue Breeze Inn, Bread & Butter Cafe, Cocoro, Dizengoff, Gusto Italiano, Little Bird, Malt Bar, Pane e Vino, Prego, Sidart, SPQR, The Butcher’s Son, The Long Room, and Tokyo Club.

6. Personalities
There are so many amazing people, past and present, that have made our area an incredible place. There is, of course, John Elliott – the founder of Ponsonby News, Andy Davies who conceived and created Ponsonby Central, restaurateurs Chris Rupe, Krishna of Saan (ex Prego); there are so many great real estate agents like Simon Damerell (recently retired), Tricia Lafferty, John Wills, The Dowdles, Karen Spires, Angela Saunders, Steven Glucina.

7. Public art
John Radford’s Tip Do and Tip Vic sculptures in Western Park, Fatu Feu’u sculpture, Tui, in Grey Lynn Park, Sheyne Tuffery’s The Sentinel mural opposite the Grey Lynn Community Centre, Paul Walsh’s numerous utility box paintings, The Cut Collective mural on Ponsonby Road, Enforce One mural on Pollen Street, Richard McWhannell’s Night Errant sculpture in Grey Lynn Park

8. Heritage buildings
Ponsonby and Grey Lynn have the world’s largest collection of wooden Victorian houses in the world. As well as the many character homes that line our leafy streets, there are some significant heritage buildings that give Ponsonby and Grey Lynn its distinct aesthetic. The Ponsonby Fire Station, Ponsonby Post Office, Paget Street Hall, Grey Lynn Public Library and Allendale House are just a few of the beautiful buildings that are well-looked after treasures. There are only a few heritage treasures left to be restored, like Carlile House on Richmond Road, which has been called Auckland’s most haunted building.

9. Environmentally sustainable food and grocery retailers
Ecostore, Harvest by Huckleberry in Grey Lynn, and GoodFor on Williamson Avenue are making shopping locally more sustainable and healthier for us and for the planet.

10. Parks
There is a huge variety of parks for sports, dog walking, picnics, family gatherings and just enjoying the inner city’s green spaces. We particularly love Coxs Bay Park, Western Park, Victoria Park, Western Springs and Grey Lynn Park.

11. Libraries
Grey Lynn Library, The Leys Institute, Pt Chevalier Library and the Central City Library. Rather than becoming obsolete, libraries continue to be a hub in the community. Traditional print book sales continue to grow and the innovative approach libraries have to sharing knowledge makes them vital to communities everywhere. Our libraries encourage and help satisfy curiosity and, together with schools, galleries and community news media, they offer not just knowledge, but entertainment and invaluable support across a range of content. The Central City Library this year hosted the Zambesi fashion show giving each guest a limited edition Central Library card.

12. The Grey Lynn toddler pool
Almost a best kept secret, the Grey Lynn toddler pool is a haven for young families in the city during the hot summer months. With an on duty lifeguard and plenty of shade, it’s the ideal place to have fun in water.

13. The Grey Lynn Farmers Market
From the freshly baked breads, to fresh produce and onsite food trucks and heirloom seeds to grow your own food, the Grey Lynn Farmers Market offers so much to locals.

14. Plunket
Grey Lynn, Herne Bay and Ponsonby Plunkets have been helping and supporting young families in the wider Ponsonby area for decades. They have brought together groups of parents in coffee groups for fundraising and facilitated toy library services for decades.

15. Fashion
Fifth Avenue, Huffer, Juliet Hogan, Karen Walker, Kate Sylvester, Scotties & Marilyn Sainty, The Shelter, Wallace Rose, Wixii, Workshop, Working Style, Zambesi – the list of innovative local fashion brands goes on and on.

16. Inner city beaches and coastal parks
We are very lucky to have such a diverse and beautiful inner city coastline. The challenge is to make sure we reduce our environmental impact on these beautiful places and the coastal marine life to ensure that Sentinel Road Beach, Point Chevalier Beach, Hamilton Road Beach, Home Bay Beach and others are there for future generations to enjoy.

17. Pt Erin Pools
For over 50 years, people have enjoyed the historic Pt Erin Pools. The main pool is there for competitive and leisure swimmers; shallow pools for little ones, a family spa and a children’s playground make this the perfect place for summer cool down and some family time.

18. Ponsonby Community Centre Ponsy Kids Preschool
Since 1958 the local community has enjoyed a range of social, educational and recreational activities at the Ponsonby Community Centre hall. Today it continues to be a well used and loved community venue making a wide range of activities possible. From senior yoga to kids baking classes and tai chi, the centre has something for everyone. It is also home to Ponsy Kids Preschool, one of the area’s most well-loved preschools.

MOTAT is a local treasure. A museum that keeps our past alive and constantly provides technology-based, interactive programmes for children and adults of all ages.

20. Street Parades and Market Days
The Auckland Pride Parade began in 2013 and ran until 2018. Their board made the highly controversial decision, after a number of community hui (meetings) to not allow Police to march in their uniform for the 2019 Auckland Pride Parade. The 2019 parade was cancelled after a number of sponsors withdrew financial support. The Ponsonby Market days always bring the community out, with food, music, shopping bargains and always a fun and festive community vibe.

21. Great schools
Ponsonby Primary, Westmere School, Ng-a Uri o Ng-a Iwi Rumaki, Western Springs College/Waiorea, Auckland Girls Grammar, Ponsonby Intermediate, St Mary’s College, St Paul’s College, Freemans Bay School, Grey Lynn Primary, Newton School, Bayfield, Marist, Pasadena and Richmond Road School.

22. Auckland Zoo
Conservation is at the heart of Auckland Zoo. It’s part of a global network of zoos focused on conserving the world’s wildlife and wild places. Since 1922, Auckland Zoo has welcomed over 28 million visitors and every year continues work that makes a difference to the wider natural world.

23. Franklin Road lights
Since 1993, the Franklin Road community has spread the Christmas spirit with lights, delighting locals and visitors throughout December. The displays are magical and are all about the joy of giving.

24. Grey Lynn RSC
From the Anzac Day service, to the warm, friendly, spacious bar and the ode read at 6pm every night when the lights are dimmed and patrons stand and face the honours boards, the RSC is a key part of the Grey Lynn community. Offering the community a great function venue, a large dance floor and a bistro that serves fresh, affordable meals, the Grey Lynn RSC is a long-time favourite.

25. Art galleries
Art has a home in our area with many wonderful galleries showing local, national an international artists. Whitespace, Orex, Objectspace, Studio One and Smyth Galleries are just a few of the wonderful spaces.

26. Herne Bay Village
The boutique retail and dining precinct of Herne Bay is home to some of the area’s most enduring businesses including the Herne Bay Post Shop, Herne Bay Pharmacy, and Novel Bookshop. There is no shortage of great cafes and eateries such as Five Loves, the Butcher’s Son, ParisButter and Andiamo. There are some great retail therapy options including Sills + Co, Kathryn Wilson, Tessuti and Simon James; lots of reasons to stroll down this part of Jervois Road.

27. Westmer Butcher
Organic meats, award-winning sausages and the famous Christmas queues going out the door and along the road make these guys local icons in the area.

28. Local sports clubs
We love that our area has a wealth of long-enduring sports clubs. From the Ponsonby Rugby Club, Richmond Rovers and the Point Chevalier Pirates to the Herne Bay Rackets Club, West End Tennis Club and the Ponsonby Bowling Club, there are so many options for athletes young and old.

29. Home design stores
Style and design are synonymous with Ponsonby and Grey Lynn and the choices are extensive: Apartmento, Chambers, Corcovado, Design Denmark, Father Rabbit, French Country, Homage, JI Home, Millys, Presentz, Republic, St Clements and Tessuti.

30. Ponsonby News readers
You are our community, we listen, learn and discover so much from all of you. We appreciate every time you pick up a magazine and love it when you give us feedback.

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