This year marks the 175th anniversary of Howick and Pakuranga and districts which presents a wonderful opportunity to feature people from the area and their memories of their past. Today we hear from Vinson Chao Yu, a 175 Ambassador

I have lived in Howick for about 10 years and currently work at Pakuranga Library.

My kids were born here. My first boy studied at Pakuranga College and other two kids studying in Owairoa Primary School. I shop local and volunteering locals.

I service the local community as a Justice of the Peace and I am involved with Howick & Districts Historical Society as a board member to promote local history to the Chinese community. I’m also connected with local libraries to run Chinese culture activities.

I also engage with Sport Auckland to deliver multi-sport & recreation activities to local community weekly.

Additionally, I work with Te Whatu Ora to organise vaccine programmes and health workshops for the local community. This year I received the Covid Health Volunteer Individual Award runner-up from the Ministry of Health.

History is closely related to our daily lives through art and culture, skills and technology development, social movement, commercial, environmental changes etc.

I believe that getting to know some of the local history will help immigrants to understand the local culture structure so they can more easily connect people with settlement in New Zealand. Since I am involved with the local community, becoming one of the Chinese community leaders, I have a lot of interest and aspirations to promote local history to my community as a 175 Ambassador.

We are building our own histories too. All the memories are about my family time in the Howick and Pakuranga areas. Currently in our family life I bring the kids to local schools during the week and at weekends there is nothing better to start with than visiting Howick Village Market on Saturdays. We shop for fresh vegetables and fruits in season, sweet honey from a local farm, fresh baked bread and nothing is more perfect than ordering a cup of coffee in our local cafes.

There are many sport and recreations activities around Pakuranga/Howick. My kids enjoy flying kites, playing around in the Howick Domain or Lloyd Elsmore Park. Howick

Historical Village is always somewhere we can have a joyful time with our family.

Walking on local paths is a good way to bring my kids out for recreation. We spend time in Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple to have a peaceful time while in the holidays we love having picnics with friends at Eastern Beach, chatting and sharing different cultural food.

This wonderful family routine has come together to form all the best memories in past 10 years. I feel so grateful to live in such beautiful village.

I wished I could have a family connection with local history however I am a first generation immigrant in New Zealand. I do hope some of our family members will gain one in future.

Howick/Pakuranga has changed a lot over the past 10 years and as a result, the population is growing and changing with high growth in the Asian population. The communities are becoming increasingly diverse. Every second in the past becomes history.

The Howick area has a long and unique history within the rich tapestry of New Zealand, from early Maori past, Fencible settlement, immigrants developing and bringing diversity to our community now and into the future.

Promoting the area’s readily accessible history through education, exploration and tourism activities to strengthen the local community’s interest on history benefits us all.

It will not only help new immigrants to have a deeper understanding of local culture, but also increase support for future heritage preservation and protection and boost local historical tourism too.