Is this the source of the Avondale spider?
How did Avondale get its spider?
Mike Astley says his family is partially responsible for bringing the huntsman spider into New Zealand.
His great-grandfather Elijah Astley owned the E Astley & Sons Tannery on Portage Rd in New Lynn, from 1888 through to 1988.
The family imported bark from the Australian wattle tree, which carried the Avondale spider in it, also known as the Australian huntsman spider.
The spider has become a mascot for Avondale, with a statue of ‘‘Dale’’ the Avon- dale spider on Great North Rd.
Whau Local Board member Catherine Farmer said in October the spider could be replaced by something ‘‘more appealing’’ to Avondale’s multi-cultural society.
Astley says he would hate to see Dale the spider statue taken down.
‘‘It’s more than a statue of a spider it’s the history behind it. There wasn’t a great deal of work back in those days and the tanneries created employment for our people and the Avondale spider was a symbol of that time in west Auckland,’’ he says.
But a majority of voters (78 per cent) on a Western Leader Neighbourly poll wanted Dale to stay in Avondale.
‘‘Dale’’ the Avondale Spider statue on Great North Rd.