Context: Site History
Now Suburban and Commercial in nature, New Lynn was once an industrial hub of Auckland, with Tanneries, Factories and Timber yards. However the scale Ceramics Industry overshadowed all of these and has left the most lasting imprint on the region.
West Auckland is well known for its boggy clay soils, initially unsuited to farming. But it was in this clay that enterprising businessmen saw an opportunity to create the bricks, drainage pipes and tiles the fledgling city of Auckland was craving. By the 1920’s the industry was fiercely competitive, with 3 major works in New Lynn. Realising this could not last many of the companies merged or were taken over to form the conglomerate Amalgamated Brick and Tile, which later created the famous but defunct NZ dinnerware brand “Crown Lynn”.
The site of the proposed park is located in one of this firms now infilled Clay Pits, which was closely bordered by its major kilns and works. Clay was initially extracted by hand, but later by mechanical means as in this 1929 photograph of the nearby ex-Gardner Works clay pit (Incidentally today’s Manawa Wetland Reserve).
Image sourced from local history blogger “Timespanner”