Botany and Ormiston Times
Howick and Pakuranga Times : Howick and Pakuranga Times, Thurs, November 8
www.times.co.nz Howick and Pakuranga Times --- Celebrating 40 Years, 2012 --- 3 50 Stonedon Drive, East Tamaki, Auckland Phone 271 8000. Fax 271 8070. www.times.co.nz Our place, our name May 13, 2010 was an historic day for the Times, our readers and the people of Howick, Pakuranga and Botany. This was the day when the "our place, our name" campaign was presented to Parliament calling for the ward to be named Howick rather than Te Irirangi. The following month the ward was officially named Howick. The Times proudly campaigned to put forward the peoples' views and to support the community. It was a victory for democracy and the power of the press. By Reay Neben Managing director Times Newspapers Reflecting on the 40 years that the Howick and Pakuranga Times has been published, I am over- whelmed by the huge changes this paper has been involved in and consequently recorded as a history of the area. Already steeped in colourful history when the paper began in 1972, How- ick and surrounds has seen a period of huge growth that began just prior to 1972 and continues today. Bucklands Beach, Eastern Beach, Cockle Bay, Beachlands and Maraetai were still very much beach home com- munities but subdivisions were pop- ping up with new homes being built. As far as shopping centres went there was Howick village and the Pakuranga Town Centre, the latter nowhere near the size of Westfield today. There was no Highland Park Shop- ping Centre and no Meadowlands. There was no Somerville, only Archie Somerville's farm and no Botany. When it came to high schools there were only Pakuranga College, Edge- water College and St Kentigern Col- lege, which actually had its own farm, and Howick College was being built. There were no lights on Pakuranga Road and it was known as the concrete highway. I look at the huge Lloyd Els- more Park today and remember Sir Lloyd as Mayor of the newly formed Manukau City. Then, I see Barry Curtis Park and remember that for most of our 40 years the paper had a close relationship with Sir Barry first as a councillor of Manu- kau City Council and then as the dis- trict's longest serving mayor. During those early days, Howick Borough had its own council and we worked closely with the councillors and Mayor Morrin Cooper until How- ick because part of the new Manukau City under amalgamation. Over the past 40 years, we have worked closely with local service groups and businesses. Members of our management team have, at various times, served on many associations and committees to ensure our local involvement has been main- tained and that we could give support where needed. I am often asked about highlights but it is so hard to choose. There have been so many wonderful moments over the years. We have seen people who worked for us go on to huge posi- tions all over the world. Over many of our 40 years, Paul Forsyth has been our director and mentor and is still on our board today. Mike Ratcliffe, our legal advisor for as many years, has been our strength and protector and we couldn't have done without either. I have also seen ideas put to us, then develop and last for 25 years such as the Miss Howick pageant which we have been proud to support. We have reported on talented people in sport and the arts and seen so many repre- sent New Zealand at the highest level. Politically our area has seen it all. The new seat of Pakuranga was formed and Gavin Downie won the seat for National. The seat was later lost to the former Social Credit party and Bob Jones also launched his New Zealand party in Pakuranga. Forty years gone in blink of eye Then there was the upset in Hunua when Win Peters lost the seat and then won it back on a recount. I've seen electoral boundaries change and with them candidates come and go. On the retail front, many retailers have been here for as long, if not longer than our company and it is indicative of the area that once here it is very hard to leave. And we are very much the same. Over the years, we have seen most community newspapers throughout the country being sold to big newspa- per corporations but we have remained a private company. Over the years, the paper has won many accolades. However, these have not come without the strong support of readers and advertisers who have stayed loyal throughout our 40 years. The highlight is we are still here doing what the paper set out to do. That is reporting events, recording local body decisions, showcasing com- munity groups, schools and individual efforts whilst, all the time keeping read- ers informed about all the things hap- pening around them; the things most precious to them and their families. And that's what we intend to keep doing. By Brian Neben Publisher 1989 was an historic year for the Times when a decision was made to purchase our own printing press. Although this seemed an unrealis- tic goal at the time, a chance meeting with an old friend and machine sales manager at a cocktail party set the idea in motion. The Bay of Plenty Times had replaced its press two years previously and it had been sold to a French newspaper company with a view to starting a newspaper in New Caledonia or some other French territory. The French Government was not at all happy at the idea of a newspaper in the Pacific so they took ownership of the press and it sat in containers for two years. It was suggested that our company should make an offer for the press which we did. We were successful with our bid and took ownership within a few days. At that stage, the Times was operating from commercial offices in Fencible Drive so, we were then faced with the prob- lem of finding a suitable home for our purchase. On the day of signing up for the press I was on my way home and driving past the old Fram building in Union Road. I noticed a 'for lease' sign on the building. That evening I was able to contact the owners and by the next day we had a shake-hand agreement to buy. Soon after, Union Road became our home for the next 14 years. The press was up and running in a short time and within weeks we had printed our first issue on our very own press. This was an exciting time for the team. Our then newsprint suppliers were Tasman Newsprint who said we were their first New Zealand ew client in some 20 years! What's more, as in most ntures of this nature, it as just a short time before e needed to increase the ze of the press. As a result, ay and I headed to the USA here we purchased two onditioned units which pt us up-to-date with our rease in paging. Then, to cut a long story rt, within two years adver- rs were starting to require our so, once again, it was to America where we pur- sed a second-hand Goss ss in very good mechanical er. his enabled us to take on a number of outside clients and gave us the ability to provide four colour pic- tures (full colour). Our client base continued to grow and colour printing became an impor- tant sales tool for the company. We then expanded further, pur- chasing a brand new, four colour printing unit from China so we could print colour to the highest quality. I was particularly thrilled when Reay and I were invited to Shanghai in China to see our new unit come off the assembly line. A year or two later we required extra printing facilities but had run out of space in the Union Road fac- tory having particular difficulty stor- ing our newsprint. At the beginning, we were using about 50 tonne of newsprint per month but 14 or so years later we were using up to 500 tonne per month. This forced us to build our own factory and offices at Highbrook and we shifted there in 2005. This building, which we named Times House, was our crowning glory as it gave us the chance to purpose- design and build our press hall and offices which today remain an effec- tive and central base from which the Times can serve the whole district. Press ownership provided new impetus "I am often asked about highlights but it is so hard to choose. There have been so many wonderful moments over the years.," Top, Reay Neben outside the new Times House; above, the old Fram building which the Times occupied for some 14 years; left, Reay and Brian in Shanghai watching their new Goss four colour ower come off the assembly line.
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