About Us

About Us

Introducing Manurewa Business Association

Welcome to the Manurewa Town Centre and the Manurewa Business Improvement District (BID).

The BID exists to strategically and operationally promote the wellbeing and vitality of the Manurewa Town Centre. It is managed by a Town Centre Manager, who is the representative of the committee of the Manurewa Business Association (MBA).

The Town Centre Manager (TCM) partners with various community and council based forums, liaising with organisations and businesses in actions that will promote and support the Town Centre and the local community to offer a diverse shopping experience in a safe and secure environment.

Working with Southmall management allows the MBA to provide successful events to the community, such as the Manurewa Community Expo, Santa Parade and the Elvis Festival . It also provides an environment of collaboration into strategic tasks where there is potential overlap between the two centres. This allows the Town Centre and Southmall to benefit collectively to all who work and live in Manurewa.

The Manurewa Business Association works with the Manurewa Local Board, Town Centre Retailers and Key Stakeholders to implement projects, and provide updates in strategic Auckland Council policy changes, such as bylaws, to the business and land owners in the town centre. A sample of these projects include Town Centre Tidy-Ups, Graffiti reporting, and seasonal promotional competitions. There is a large amount of advocacy in regard to bylaw changes with Auckland Council, advocating and promoting the best interests of the town centre.

The work of the Business Association also involves various stakeholders. The Manurewa Local Board, Nathan Homestead, the Manurewa Botanical Gardens, to name a few. There is a capacity of the BA to improve the town centre in a large variety of facets, through consultation with Auckland Council, Local Board, graffiti teams and other stakeholders.

Bid Boundary Map

Here is the boundary map for the Manurewa BID area. All commercial businesses including Southmall that fall within the red line are included in the Manurewa BID automatically.

History of Manurewa

A Brief History of Manurewa

Proximity to Manukau Harbour and the Hauraki Gulf for plentiful fishing, good waterways with rivers, streams and springs, fertile volcanic soils for cultivation, a mix of flat and scrubby land and forested highlands and a good climate, combined to make the area of South Auckland desirable for early settlement.

Many hectares of fertile land was gardened  around Manurewa’s nearest major cones, Matukutureia   (McLaughlin’s Mountain ) and Matukutururu ( Wiri Mountain )  both now almost quarried away. The gardens were mostly undefended settlements and food stores. In pre-European times, this prized area created warfare between tribes of Thames and Waikato, which concerned the early missionaries. On 22nd March 1838 Messrs Fairburn, Maunsell and Hamlin met at Otahuhu for the two-fold purpose of examining the school children and establishing peace between the tribes.  Subsequently at their request Fairburn bought 40,000 acres of land from the Maori for 400 pounds. The land lay between Otahuhu and Papakura and was bounded on the east and west by the sea. The Maori remained in occupation as before and in time

Fairburn returned one third of his property free of charge. By 1842, in accordance with requirements of the Land Claims Commission, his holding reduced still further to 5,495 acres in Otahuhu, Pakuranga and Manurewa.

10,000 acres of Fairburn’s original holding was granted by the government to James Reddy Clendon on 18th October 1842 in part exchange for land he owned in the Bay of Islands. Clendon’s Grant was bounded by Puhinui Road, Boundary Road, Brookby, back along Alfriston Road, Weymouth Road and Palmer’s Road to the coast. Unknown is how long Clendon kept the land but at least 2,000 acres were taken over by the Bank of New Zealand sometime prior to 1859.

In 1859 Robert and Margaret Martin and their 5 sons set sail from the Isle of Man to New Zealand and on arrival, Robert Martin purchased 2,000 acres of Clendon’s original grant from the Bank of New Zealand for one pound per acre. This tract is outlined by Orams Road, Browns Road, the Manukau Harbour, Weymouth Road, Alfriston Road and Claude Road.

Manurewa was constituted a Highway District in 1867 and by 1874 boasted eleven houses and four mud huts. It was on the major coach route south with the Raglan Hotel at Woodside ( Wiri ) being the half way stop between Otahuhu and Drury.

The coming of the railway in 1875, which bypassed central Woodside, caused the population of Manurewa to rise to 81 by 1879 and the Martins could see Manurewa’s potential for development.  After their father’s death in 1894, the Martin brothers decided to subdivide part of their land and by 1920 the family had left Manurewa.

Names of  landholders, farmers and entrepreneurs among the early settlers are recognised in street names and parks of the area, including; Martin, Brown, Clayton, Collie, Corin,Coxhead, Dreadon, Finlayson, Holmes, Lupton, Mc Dougall, Nathan, Nield, Holmes, and Russell among them with names other notable residents added to the list with development over the years.

Manurewa was consititued a Town District on 1 April 1916, uniting portions of the former Manurewa and Papakura Road Districts. It became an independent Town District in 1920, the new Town Board carried out a vigorous policy of improvements.

Electricity was a major advancement 1921-1922.

In the early 1920s Manurewa began to be promoted as a convenient commuting suburb, having advantages of uncrowded country living but the facilities of a town, and being only 50 minutes from the city by regular train service.

The slumps of the 1920s and 1930s hit some residents hard as they struggled to earn and provide, however, most of the shops weathered the worst of the depression years.

In 1937 Manurewa’s population had reached more than 1,500. A Proclamation dated 20th October 1937 saw the Town District constituted a Borough.

Manurewa felt the impact of the Second World War 1939-1945, with many men away for service and rationing lasting until well after the war ended. Army Camps sprang up in Hill Park, in the Nathan property and another camp in the Orford property. American Marines and soldiers and New Zealand troops spent rest periods there before despatch to the Pacific.

Post WWII land was bought off Weymouth Road to make reasonably-priced sections for returning servicemen and some smallholdings and farms came up for subdivision, despite increasing urbanisation, much of Manurewa still retained a rural aspect for many years. The population grew considerably between the mid 1950s and 1960  bringing the need for further subdivisions and services. The Southern Motorway construction of an alternative route to the Great South Road began in 1949, by 1955 it had reached Redoubt Road, Takanini by 1963 and to Runciman by 1965.

The total land area of the Manurewa Borough fluctuated with some extension of its boundaries until 1964 when it was 1,803 acres in size. On 3 September 1965 after some years of debate by local bodies, Manurewa joined with Manukau County to form the new Manukau City.

The Norfolk pine that stands outside Southmall alongside Great South Road was one of two planted by a Mr Dalton on what was then his front lawn. One was later removed as being too close to the house, but the other survives today to serve as Manurewa’s Christmas tree.

Summarised timeline by Maryanne Walker, Manurewa Historical Society, 30.11.2017

References: “ A Brief History of Manurewa” Manurewa Historical Society 1990 project booklet.   “Soaring Bird” A history of Manurewa to 1965. Gwen Wichman, Manurewa Historical Society 2001

Meaning of Manurewa

A tale of Manurewa

The name Manurewa is an abbreviation of its earlier form in Maori Legend;

‘Te Manu Rewa o Tama Pahore’ the drifted away kite of Tama Pahore.

Maori words ‘manu’ meaning bird or kite, ‘rewa’ meaning floating or soaring.

History shows stories supporting both potential meanings relevant to the name, ‘Soaring Bird’ and ‘Drifting Kite’, however it is not a kite but a flying bird that Manurewa has adopted as its symbol.

The interpretation of Manurewa as ‘flying bird’ was taken up in the 1920s by an early Manurewa resident, Mr Enos S. Pegler. Mr Pegler, accompanying a team of bowlers from Manurewa to England, commissioned a London artist to incorporate the Maori traditions of the name in a badge. This task was ably carried out by R.A.Miles of London, who produced 144 badges incorporating the now familiar flying bird design, cast in enamel with gold facings surrounded by a dark blue ribbon ( the sea) and inscribed with the Latin words ‘Per Ardua Ad Astra” and ‘Manurewa’

The badges were forwarded by parcel post in the 12,160-ton s.s. Wiltshire. This ship was wrecked on the southeast tip of Great Barrier Island on 8 June 1922. Luckily, however, some of the mail was washed up and, though sodden with seawater, the badges were eventually delivered to Mr Pegler undamaged. They were then presented to officials of the Manurewa Town Board, the Manurewa School Committee, senior pupils of the school, and postal officials. Members were so pleased with the design that they adopted it as Manurewa’s official sign and seal, passing a resolution to that effect. As far as can be ascertained this resolution has never been rescinded. The emblem was subsequently adopted by many local organisations, including the Manurewa Business Association, and by many sports clubs, such as the Manurewa cricket, tennis, bowling and croquet clubs.

Photo and information compiled by Maryanne Walker, Manurewa Historical Society.  Badge interpretation an excerpt from ‘Soaring Bird’ A History of Manurewa to 1965 by Gwen Wichman, Manurewa Historical Society 2001.

References to ‘Drifting Kite’ and Maori legend; A.E.Tonson, ‘Old Manukau’ 1966; George Samuel Graham (1874-1952) ‘Nga Matukurua: The Two Bitterns’ A tale of Manurewa, reproduced in appendix one ‘Soaring Birds’

Safety and Security

In an Emergency Call 111

In an Emergency

Call 111 when:

Someone is badly injured or in danger;
There is a serious risk to life or property;
A crime is being committed and the offenders are still there or have just left.

To report a historic incident eg. Overnight break-in or something that happened a few days ago call Auckland Central Police on 09 302 6400 and ask for the Crime Reporting Line.
Alternatively contact the Manurewa Police on 09 268 5800  or visit them between 8am and 4pm Monday to Friday at 14 Halver Road, Manurewa.


In case of a medical emergency, the nearest defibrillators are located at:

•    The Peoples Centre – 7 Halver Rd, Manurewa – 09 268 6331
•    ASB – 10/214 Great South Road, Manurewa, Auckland 2102
•    Manurewa Medical Centre – 157 Great South Rd, Manurewa – 09 266 9044
•    Greenstone Family Clinic – 157 Great South Road, Manurewa – 09 267 8702
•    Manurewa Leisure Centre – 33 Frances St, Manurewa 2102 – 09 267 4646
•    Manurewa High School – 67 Browns Rd, Manurewa 2102 – 09 269 0690

PLEASE NOTE: AED may not be available for use at certain times from all locations