Avondale Primary School

Avondale: Where we came from, where we are now , and where we are going

Hitori o Patiki / Te Whau


Avondale is in Auckland, New Zealand. There is two places known as Avondale in New Zealand, one in Auckland and one in Christchurch. Avondale is a suburb of Auckland. Avondale is a small suburb now but back in the old days it use to be big from Portage Road to Richardson Road and including the suburb of Waterview.

Roundabout 1910.
Roundabout with car.


John Bollard named Avondale, he grew up near a county called Wicklow in Ireland. To sell land here "Avondale" sounded more attractive than 'The Whau' which was also the name for the Asylum at Pt Chevallier.

John and Jane Bollard (thanks Waitakere library).


The Whau River got its name from the Whau Tree which is well known for the best floating bark. The Whau River is one of the two water ways that run through Avondale. The Whau River has been here since the Waitemata River got flooded back in the ice ages. The Whau River remained to feed into the new sea.

Whau river 1910.
Whau river 2006.

The river has become much dirtier and narrower today. It is full of mangrove plants. We think it's got smaller because of all the building that has happened. We hope one day it might become cleaner and wider again, maybe we will write to the council and tell them.


Avondale is a nice place. It use to get their mail by boat down the by the Whau River by the old woodern bridge. Later in the year the mail was kept in the general stores in Avondale unitl 1889 when the rail way station opened which was also a post office.

Mail box.
Letter box.


It was believed that Rosebank is flat like a flat fish or a flounder, back in the 1800s the Māori went down to the Whau River to catch flounder or Patiki. Flounder only comes out at night time. In that time with no shops people had to search for food and Māori people would move into that area because there was plenty of Patiki found in that area.

Patiki is a type of seafood which is one type of flat fish. The English word for patiki is flounder. Patiki is also a diamond shape pattern on a Tukutuku Panel which is usually found in a Wharenui or marae.

Flounder. Patiki.

A flounder and a patiki pattern, you can see where the Māori got the idea for the shape from.

All old photos are from the "Challenge of the whau" book (see Thank yous)