Whau Local Board

State of Auckland





July 2013

This local board includes the suburbs of New Lynn, Avondale, New Windsor, Blockhouse Bay, Green Bay and Kelston.

The main business centres are located around Rosebank Road, Avondale and New Lynn.

In 1965, New Lynn became home to New Zealand’s first retail shopping mall, LynnMall. The recent double tracking and trenching of the western rail line through New Lynn will be the catalyst for redevelopment and expansion of LynnMall and the surrounding retail, business and residential areas.

Other features of this area include the Avondale Racecourse, which hosts the popular Avondale Sunday Markets, Titirangi Golf Course and several large parks and reserves.

Whau verses Auckland region Age groups (2006) chart

Quick facts

5% of regional population

34.1 yrs Median age

22,590 employees work in the local board area (2012) 

45% European, 31% Asian, 18% Pacific, 9% Māori

45% born overseas

$52,315 Median household income

62% of residents employed

28 schools, range from decile 1 to 8 (2010)

5,682 businesses in the local board area (2012)

Whau Local Board area map

Whau Local Board area


Between the 1996 and 2006 censuses, the population increased by 21 per cent, similar to the regional growth rate of 22 per cent during that time. Medium population projections suggest that this local board area could be home to 93,300 residents by 2031.

The median age was 34.1 years, slightly higher than the regional median of 33.9 years.

This area is home to many relatively new migrants from overseas. Just under half (45%) of Whau residents were born overseas, and of this group, 60 per cent had been in New Zealand for less than ten years. The largest group of people born overseas were from the People’s Republic of China, followed by India, Fiji, Samoa and England.


In 2006, there were 22,854 households in Whau, 5 per cent of the regional count.

The median household income was $52,315 – lower than the regional median at $63,387.

Home ownership rates in this local board are similar to the regional average - in 2006, 63 per cent of households owned the dwelling they lived in (this includes 8% who owned it in a family trust), compared with 64 per cent regionally. The remaining 37 per cent of households rented, and of these, the majority (79%) rented from private landlords.

About one in three (32%) households were couples with children, and a further 10 per cent were sole parents with children. Almost one in five (19%) households were couple only.

Education and employment

Just under half (47%) of residents aged 15 years and over were employed full-time and a further 15 per cent employed part-time. Of those employed, 84 per cent were paid employees.

Around 34 per cent were managers or professionals and a further 15 per cent were employed as clerical and administrative workers.

In 2006, 19 per cent of residents aged 15 years and over had gained a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 20 per cent regionally, and a quarter (22%) had no educational qualifications compared with 20 per cent across the region.

Business in the local board

At February 2012, the Whau Local Board area accounted for 4 per cent of all employment and 4 per cent of all businesses in Auckland.

Manufacturing is the largest employer in the area, with 6,000 employees (26% of the local board employment),and 475 businesses.

While the largest numbers of people who worked in Whau were employed in manufacturing, the largest number of businesses were in the rental, hiring and real estate services (15%), followed by construction, retail trade, and professional and technical services (10% each).

During the period from 2000 to 2012, employment in the local board area grew by 7 per cent, adding 1,490 employees (compared to 23% growth across the region). The biggest growth was in education and training, healthcare and social assistance and wholesale trade sectors. There were losses in manufacturing jobs during that time, but the sector remains the largest local employer.


whau graph pg2

All data presented here is from the 2006 Census of Population and Dwellings, unless stated otherwise. School data is provided by Auckland Council, using Ministry of Education information. ‘Business in the local board’ data is from Statistics New Zealand’s Business Demographic data. A school’s decile rating indicates the extent to which it draws its students from low socio-economic communities. Decile 1 schools are the 10 per cent of schools with the highest proportion of students from low socio-economic communities. Decile 10 schools are the 10 per cent of schools with the lowest proportion of these students. The census allows respondents to select more than one ethnicity group, hence the ethnicity percentages may total more than 100.