The following article appeared in the NZ Herald on 10/8/2005 and the proof of these claims can still be seen on the centre strip of concrete on Ridge Road.

“Road builders here will soon follow those in Europe and Australia and build concrete roads,” says Fletcher Building chief executive Ralph Waters. “This country will soon wake up to the fact that building in concrete is better and major roads will soon be built in concrete with an asphalt topping,” he predicted yesterday. Fletcher infrastructure chief Mark Binns said all New Zealand roads were built on an aggregate base topped with bitumen. Concrete roading cost more initially, he said, but it lasted longer and needed fewer repairs so was cheaper in the long-term. 

Transit NZ’s capital projects manager, Peter Spies, said some concrete roads had been built, particularly round Howick. Transit had no definite plans for new concrete roads. From NZ Herald

The Howick Town Board levied the rates for 1930 which included the concrete highway loan. The concrete road was to go from Howick, through Pakuranga and Panmure to the Harp of Erin.

The year before, the Executive of the Howick Ratepayers’ and Residents” Association with the approval of the Howick Town Board published a booklet entitled ‘ A New Day is Dawning – Howick Concrete [and] Water’. In it they described all the amenities of the district and what Howick needed to progress. They laid out all the costs for the proposed water and concrete schemes and urged citizens to ‘cast your vote in favour of all the proposals put forward by the Howick Town Board.’

The proposal was accepted by the Town Board and a subsidy of £3 to £1 for the formation of a bitumen surface on

the Howick portion of road was received from the Main Highways Board. However, the board did not regard bitumen as a suitable material, and decided to make a request that a subsidy on the same scale be made for concrete 9 August 1928.

In the NZ Herald 20 November 1929, it was reported that Manukau County had called for tenders on the section of road from Panmure Bridge to the western boundary of the Howick town district. On March 7 tenders closed and work was to be commenced as soon as possible. The road will be 18ft. wide, with easy, grades and well-finished 4ft. shoulders.

‘When completed the new section will link up with the concrete road to be laid by the Howick Town Board, and will provide a first-class motor road from the city to many popular beaches in the outer harbour and the Hauraki Gulf.’

Construction at the foot of Stockade Hill on Ridge Road looking towards Picton Street.

The work will occupy several months and will necessarily cause some inconvenience to the travelling public. This will be minimised, however, by plans which provide for part of the road to be made in two separate strips, each 9ft. wide, so that the public can use one side of the road while the other is being constructed. In some places it has been possible to arrange for the traffic to be diverted.

Photo: Albert Grindrod

The road was officially opened by Manukau County Council at the Howick Town Board- Manukau County Council boundary at the corner of Botany Road where a parade of bullock wagons, pack horses, buggies, cars and trucks representing the development of transport methods since the pioneering days of Howick was waiting to set off.

The Hon. W. B. Taverner, Minister of Public Works cut the ribbon to mark the opening of the new road outside the Marine Hotel. Speeches by the Official Party were made from the hotel balcony.

Photo: United Press pictures

A carnival was held in conjunction with the opening and a GRAND CELEBRATION PROGRAMME was held to mark the event and advertised – TONIGHT: The All- Singing, Talking, Dancing, Musical Comedy Triumph.



A postcard showing Ridge Road (foreground) to Picton Street, 1928. Taken from Stockade Hill.


Picton Street, 1947 Photo: NZ Herald


Neil Morrison, Manukau City Councillor standing by the plaque commemorating the opening of the concrete road on Kerswill Place which he unveiled. Photo: A la Roche

All that remains visible today, is the section on Ridge Road from Vincent Street to Stockade Hill, the centre two lanes.