Vibrant, growing Mt Roskill
Mt Roskill is one of New Zealand’s most diverse, evolving and appealing communities.
Even the suburb’s name has an interesting origin. Perhaps the most intriguing local legend about the origin of the name ‘ Mt Roskill’ dates back to the late 1800s.
According to this theory, a noted sheep and cattle stealer used the mountain to graze stolen beasts which may have given rise to the name ‘Rascal’.
That early infamy didn’t hurt though. A newspaper report in 1879 described it as ‘‘cleared, beautiful, undulating country dotted with picturesque homesteads and sheening in emerald green with all the verdure of luxuriant crops’’.
Ironically, it was the Great Depression that caused a local population boom. The chronic housing shortage of those days led to a concerted effort by the government in 1935 to house the nation. But because there wasn’t land available in the inner-city area, expansion followed into Mt Roskill.
Mt Roskill has come a long way since those strawberry fields days. Today, it is a modern residential suburb that offers its residents and visitors alike a vibrant lifestyle – great neighbourhoods, myriad forms of entertainment, excellent transport, reserves, parks, as well as sporting and fitness facilities.
It is also an ethnically diverse community with at least 54 different nationalities represented there, making it one of the most diverse suburbs in New Zealand.
Over the years, a mix of Europeans, Indians, East Asians, Pacific Islanders, and various South Asian groups have contributed to this diversity.
In the past, it was referred to as the Bible Belt of Auckland, as Mt Roskill reportedly contains the highest number of churches per capita in the country.
Today, attendance is likely to be higher at Hindu temples and Buddhist shrines.
This diversity has had a huge impact on the culinary scene, with the establishment of a num- ber of dining and food establishments that offer a global cuisine.
Many Indian, Asian and Middle Eastern restaurants can be explored in the Dominion Rd dining strip, but you will find them in other parts of Mt Roskill as well. In fact, the arrival of Asian supermarkets not only offers a more adventurous shopping journey but also gives you more options at the kitchen table.
Perhaps the best thing to happen to residents in the recent past is that the connectivity has improved considerably. With the opening of the Airport Motorway and the ongoing extension to SH-
20, access has been ramped up.
Along with this connectivity has come a retail boom, with entire streets such as Carr Rd and Stoddard Rd getting a makeover. The Stoddard Rd retail centre – which covers a land area of around 10,000 square metres – will transform the shopping experience for local residents. Conveniently located at the intersection of key arterial routes and the new motorway, the centre is already drawing traffic.
From ‘rascal’ to boomtown, Mt Roskill has come a long way.
Asian attraction: Mt Roskill is home to a large number of ethnic groups from Asia.
Retail boom: The Stoddard Rd retail centre promises to transform the shopping scene in Mt Roskill.