Waitangirua Mall’s glory days recalled
This week looks in depth at a great historic photo posted on the ‘‘Porirua’’ facebook page. These days the Waitangirua Mall is a quieter place and people posting on the Facebook page remembered a much different time.
We couldn’t resist using the photo of Waitangirua Mall posted by Te’a Lutau, who remembered the mall as a much busier place than it is now.
‘‘The good ol days, where it was a ‘one stop’ shop for everything, supermarket, bank, video store and spacie parlour,’’ he said.
The Write Price supermarket, which occupied a space at the mall, was named for its custom of supplying pens so customers could write the price on their grocery items.
These days the Waitangirua Mall is a quieter place and people posting on the Facebook page remembered a much different time, but still one where the centre was the heart of the community.
Teina Purdie recalled doing the weekly shopping with her mother on Friday nights.
‘‘It was fun writing the price on the cans. I even remember a line of people waiting to get a taxi home with their shopping,’’ she said.
Katey Reynish-Salmond said she used to love writing the prices on grocery items and would draw pictures on the tins for the women who worked on the check outs.
According to Tracey Steel, the pens provided by the supermarket could lead to mischief. – ‘‘They eventually took the pens away because people were drawing all over everything.’’
It was the carpark outside the mall that made an impression on Lynne Kononen.
‘‘What I remember most is the kids playing touch rugby in the huge car park.
‘‘We raised ‘em tough in the Creek,’’ he said.
Write Price Supermarket occupied the Waitangirua Mall from the mid-1970s until the rise of Porirua City’s shopping precinct in the 1990s sounded the death knell.
Tawahi Tapu said he loved the mall and remembered it being the place to hang out on a Friday night.
Jason Winters remembered the shopping mall as the place to go to get fireworks.
‘‘It even had Toyworld in the mall.
‘‘It was the place to get double happy’s before all the dairies started selling them.’’
Paii Jackson harked back to the early 80s when the mall provided a place for teenagers to socialise.
‘‘We all used to get together and do our break dancing moves.’’
Unable to compete with the new shopping precinct the supermarket closed and the mall interior became a ghost town.
The outside of the buildings soon became the target for graffiti and fell into disrepair.
In 2010 Porirua City Council funded the creation of the $998,000 Waitangirua Community Park, which takes pride of place in front of the mall.
The following year, owners of the mall signed a memorandum of understanding with the council to support the community in an ongoing clean-up of the shopping area.
That same year the outside of the mall was given a make-over by community volunteers with paint supplied from the mall owner.
The Titahi Bay Lions successfully moved their popular Saturday market to the Waitangirua Mall car park last year.
This year Waitangirua Mall’s first family restaurant, The Hungry Tiki, was opened by Jimmy and Sharifa Isaako.
Waitangirua Mall in the 1970s.