Sesquicentennial festivities in historic city

Papatoetoe is one of the most important business districts of Auckland, with an increasing number of retailers, professionals, service providers and restaurants establishing their presence to capture the ever-growing market potential.

Although a suburb today, Papatoetoe should be regarded as a thriving city and it is a matter of gratification that this important region is marking its 150th Anniversary this year.

Papatoetoe 150 is the slogan adopted for the sesquicentennial celebration.

Papatoetoe forms part of a large area estimated to have contained 40,000 acres, extending from Otahuhu to Papakura. It was purchased by Reverend William Thomas Fairburn on January 22, 1836.

According to the official website, the Papatoetoe Highway District was first defined in 1865 under the Highways Act 1862 and the Papatoetoe Highway Board first met in 1868, with local identities serving – W T Bassett, J Buckland, F R Claude, J Wallace and J Watson.

Since then, the residents have had the benefit of the Papatoetoe Town Board (1919), the Papatoetoe Borough Council (1946) and the Papatoetoe City Council (1965) which was merged in to Manukau City Council in 1989.

The Papatoetoe Borough Council initiated the Centenary celebrations and hosted a number of programmes in 1962.

As the website mentioned, Papatoetoe 150 is an initiative of the Papatoetoe Historical Society but the Organising Committee also includes other community representatives.

Inaugural Ceremony

The Sesquicentennial Celebrations aims to provide an opportunity for our community to understand and celebrate our history, publicise and promote community organisations and their activities by their participation in the year-long celebrations and enhance Papatoetoe’s long standing reputation as having a great community spirit.

An impressive and colourful parade was among the highlights of the inaugural ceremony of the festivities held on April 2, 2012.

Students of schools based in Papatoetoe, members and others associated with the Auckland Regional Migrant Services (Manukau), Auckland Sikh Society, Hope n Help Charitable Trust, ISSO Swaminarayan Temple joined the officials of the Auckland Council, the Otara Papatoetoe Local Board in the procession.

Hundreds of residents, shopkeepers and shoppers witnessed the procession, which commenced at the Recreation Grounds and made its way to the Papatoetoe Town Hall, through the Great South Road, Kolmar Road, St George Street and Tavern Lane.

Later, a number of them visited the Town Hall precincts and Chambers to see rare artefacts and other collections that depicted the history of Papatoetoe. Thousands of people visited the exhibition, which was open to the public until April 4, 2012.

Inaugural Dinner

About 200 members of the community attended the inaugural dinner held at the Town Hall, making it an event to remember. Among them were Manukau East Labour MP Ross Robertson, Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board Chairman John McCracken-Chairman Otara Papatoetoe Local Board, Ross Robertson Labour MP (Manukau East), Organising Committee Chairman and former Manukau City Council Chief Executive Gary Troup, Papatoetoe Historical Society President and Secretary (respectively) David Wyllie and Jenny Clark, Auckland Council Community Advisor Nimi Bedi.

Sesquicentennial Celebrations will be held throughout the year. The programme will include workshops, seminars, tours, visits to places of interest in Papatoetoe and a number of other events,” he said.

Raj Bedi is Community Educator at the Papatoetoe Historical Society. He will be happy to provide more information about the 150th Anniversary celebrations of Papatoetoe on 021-2411424. Email:

Papatoetoe 150th Anniversary

Selected Calendar of Events

April 2: Inaugural function with street parade, exhibition and dinner

June: School visits to the Papatoetoe Museum; Photo Display on Youthline

August to December: Heritage Bus Tours by the Papatoetoe Historical Society

September: Auckland Heritage Festival

October 1: International Day of Older Persons (Venue to be announced)

November: Celebrating Diversity (Date and Venue to be announced)

December 14: Papatoetoe Methodist Church 100th Anniversary (built in a day in 1912)

Throughout the Year: Heritage Exhibition: Papatoetoe Museum, Frost and Sutcliffe, Bookwormz and the Papatoetoe Library; special events at Churches and Temples and the Country Music Club

Papatoetoe Genealogy: Release of booklet, ‘150 Notable Residents in conjunction with Papatoetoe Historical Society (Date and venue to be confirmed)

Plunket: 30th Anniversary- Free car seat checking clinic

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