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Papakura was constituted a city on 1 January 1975. The formal proclamation ceremony and a civic parade were held in the new city on 25 January, followed by a carnival week organised by the Papakura Festival Committee.
In 1989, as part of a nationwide reform of local and regional government, Papakura City was replaced by Papakura District. The new district’s viability was enhanced by the addition of the Drury and Karaka areas from Franklin, and of Ardmore, Alfriston and Takanini, including Conifer Grove, from Manukau.
These expanded boundaries caused some dissension at first. Some residents of Alfriston, for instance, were aggrieved at being split from neighbouring Brookby, which remained with Manukau.
The end of an era
‘Greater Papakura’, however, was not destined for a long life. In March 2009 the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance recommended the replacement of all existing councils in the region with a single unitary city council, but with a second tier of four urban councils and two rural council, and a third tier of community boards. The National Government accepted the concept of a unitary city, but rejected the proposal to form urban councils. It seemed that Papakura’s only hope of survival would be at the community board level.
The Hawkins years
As mentioned, Papakura has had a history of long-serving mayors. It has also seen a remarkable family double act. In 1983 a schoolteacher named George Hawkins defeated the incumbent mayor, Jack Farrell, and began the first of three terms as mayor, first of the city, then of the district. In 1990 George Hawkins was elected the MP for Manurewa, but was succeeded by his brother David Hawkins as mayor in 1992. When David Hawkins resigned in September 2000 he ended a remarkable 17 year fraternal duopoly of the office.
More information: further information on local government in Papakura can be found in Elsdon Craig, Breakwater Against the Tide: A History of Papakura and Districts, Papakura, 1982 and Robyn Yousef, Papakura: The Years of Progress, 1938-1996, Papakura, 1997. For other references, see Manukau’s Journey.
Copyright © Manukau Libraries. This text was written for the Manukau Libraries website in November 2009. It may be freely used for the purposes of private study or research and for non-commercial publication provided that the author and Manukau Libraries are duly acknowledged.
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