P.O.Box 29002
Auckland 1023
New Zealand




The Mt Eden History Project 

Enthusiasm for the proposed Mt Eden History book continues unabated.  We now have an Editor for the project in the person of Dr Helen Laurenson.  She is in overall charge of the project with individuals sub-editing the various chapters.  We continue to have very helpful interest in our proceedings from people outside of the EEDHS but the society’s sponsorship remains the key to a successful publication.  Our meetings are open to all interested people and we particularly encourage attendance from our society members.

If you have information or pictures from your home albums relevant to the project we would welcome your contact using the "CONTACT US" section of this website.  

Following is our official press release:


Helen Laurenson knows a few things about Mount Eden/Maungawhau, its history, its characters, its building and its secrets. As editor of the forthcoming History of Mount Eden she is also gaining more and more knowledge as she coordinates the team of ten writers who will be contributing chapters to the book.


“Many people don’t know that the nave of St Barnabas Church on Mount Eden Road was originally a chapel for Maori at Mechanics Bay, built in 1848 and moved to its present site by  bullock-drawn wagon in 1877.”


“They don’t know that Windmill Road got its name from the windmill erected on the nearby hill in 1844 by William Mason who was to become one of the country’s leading architects and politicians.”


“Or that the first public school building in the district, built in 1877, still survives on the corner of Valley and Mount Eden Roads.”


‘” That an elephant climbed Maungawhau’s rocky slopes and helped to haul basalt boulders to the summit.”


The book is being published by the Epsom & Eden District Historical Society and follows on from the successful History of Epsom edited by Graham Bush which was published by the society in 2006. Two histories of the area have been written previously, one in 1956, celebrating the golden jubilee of the borough, Mount Eden’s First One Hundred Years by E C Franklin and The Changing Face of Mount Eden by Faye Angelo, written just before the borough amalgamated with Auckland City in 1989.


Now, a quarter century later, Helen Laurenson believes it is timely that a new history is written as the area increasingly stands to lose its identity in the new greater Auckland. “Local history is very important because it carries a district’s cultural and social information for the next generations. Stories of local landmarks and buildings, people and events help give one a sense of time and place and an understanding of how others have lived before in a changing environment. Local histories continue to enrich and contribute to the wider picture of Auckland's urban development and heritage. ”


The book will cover all features of the history of Mount Eden from Maori occupation of Maungawhau through to contemporary developments. Chapters will cover a range of topics including the early history of the area, local body politics, Mount Eden Prison, religious institutions, businesses, sports clubs, art and artists, public transport and the social life of the area.


Helen Laurenson has written a number of articles and monographs on local history many which have appeared in Prospect the annual journal of the Epsom & Eden District Historical Society.  In 1999 she published In This Familiar Place: The Mount Eden Village Methodist Church Centenary 1899-1999.  She also wrote the book Going Up, Going Down: The Rise and Fall of the Department Store which was the based on her MA thesis. She obtained a PhD in history from the University of Auckland in 2010 with her thesis ‘Myths and the City: a social and cultural history of Auckland, 1890-1990’.


The history of the area has been well documented with photographs and images but Dr Laurenson is aware that there are personal and family photographs and archives from the nineteenth century and early twentieth century which have never been published. She would welcome images which would shed new light on the history, events and individuals who helped shape the area.


Eric Laurenson




A SPECIAL OFFER for members of the Epsom and Eden District Historical Society…


From Survival to Revival – Auckland’s Public Transport System

since 1860

by Graham Bush

$46.00 (GST Inclusive) – Post and packing FREE –

 The RRP of this new book is $59.99 (GST inclusive)

Post your cheque or credit card details, along with your mailing address… direct to:-

Grantham House Publishing

6/9 Wilkinson Street

Oriental Bay



We accept Visa and Mastercard – Name on Card / Card Number / Expiry Date.


Graham Stewart
Publisher / Director
Grantham House Publishing
Bookprint International Limited
6/9 Wilkinson Street, Oriental Bay, Wellington 6011
e-mail: graham@ghbil.com
DDI: +64 4 381 3071
FAX: +64 4 381 3067
Mobile: +64 21 158 7111




Maungawhau: A Short History of Volunteer Action


Maungawhau, the mountain in our backyard, has been cared for by its Friends for over two decades. This account of their history, campaigns and volunteer activism makes fascinating reading. It explores the complex issues and challenges that the Friends of Maungawhau have faced, and describes their experience in restoring native vegetation to unstable scoria slopes. Auckland residents who love the mountain and conservation volunteers caring for protected areas will find enjoyment and inspiration in this story. 116 full-colour pages with maps, photos, diagrams and native/weed plant lists.


ISBN 9780473298470

Price: $20 (+ $3 P&P)

Order from sales@maungawhau.co.nz

Available from the Pah Gallery Shop in Hillsborough, and from Time Out Bookstore, Chapter Book and Tea Shop, or The Essential Deli in Mt Eden village.


  Copyright © 2006 The Epsom & Eden District Historical Society Inc.