On foreign soil
Manukau County Council’s first offices in Auckland City and Otara
Manukau County Council (1912-1965) had the unique distinction of being based for most of its life in another local body's area. The council first met on 21 June 1912 in the Agricultural Association's offices in High Street, Auckland. It later acquired offices of its own in nearby Princes Street, and remained there for more than 50 years.
Looking south west from Brooklyn Flats, Emily Place, Auckland, 28 December 1931. Shows the office building of the Manukau and Waitemata County Councils on the corner of Princes Street and Shortland Street, opened in 1923. (Photographer James D. Richardson. Auckland City Libraries, Sir George Grey Special Collections, ref. 4-4254)
There were good reasons for the location at first. The county had no towns and poor roads, and it was easier for many representatives to reach central Auckland than (say) Clevedon or Mangere Bridge. When Otara was developed for housing, however, the Council finally decided to move. It acquired a grand old villa called 'Yendarra' in Otara Road, and first held a meeting there on 12 March 1963. Administrative staff were also based at Yendarra, with the inspectors in a prefabricated building nearby.
Staff later moved variously to East Tamaki and Manurewa, but the council chambers remained at Yendarra until October 1976. Council then moved to its new administration building at Manukau City Centre.
Grand old Yendarra was sold to the Ministry of Education. Don't go looking for the building now - it was demolished in September 1977.
Yendarra homestead, Otara Road, 15 February 1976. (Larry Purdy)
For more information: see Manukau’s Journey.
Publication record: first published in Connexions, no. 79, April 2005, p. 4. Revised for publication on the Manukau Libraries website in September 2009.
Copyright © Manukau Libraries. This text 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.