Nick Loosley is the founder of the charitable dining concept Everybody Eats, which moved into its first permanent location in Onehunga last year.
Writing originally in the March edition of OurAuckland, he shares some of his favourite things about the area.
Everybody Eats and One - Onehunga Neighbourhood Eatery
At Everybody Eats we take food that would otherwise go to waste and turn it into restaurant-quality meals. We allow our customers to pay whatever they like, even if it's nothing, for nutritious freshly prepared food.
The idea was born out of research I was doing in the UK for a master's, and I decided that food waste was probably the most glaring problem in the food system and that it was possible to solve some other big issues at the same time.
I came back to New Zealand and we started in June 2017, as a pop-up on Karangahape Road at Gemmayze St. We temporarily operated in Avondale for six months. And then we opened this in November last year.
For me, food is the best tool for bringing people together, so we try to create a safe and welcoming environment to do that. I love seeing people who are quite clearly from different cultures and backgrounds and levels of income connecting around food.
This whole area has been redeveloped in the past few years. The bridge across the motorway is beautiful and there are plenty of walking and cycling paths around Onehunga Bay Reserve and the reclaimed foreshore. It’s great for dogs and a boardwalk extends around the coast to Hillsborough.
I would come down here for a swim on a hot day at high tide to escape the hustle and bustle. But if you want to relax on the beach, headphones might be helpful unless you're into traffic noise! It will be great to see what happens to this area once the council's planned Onehunga Wharf redevelopment kicks off.
I think libraries are a great thing for a city to continue to facilitate in an age where things are moving digital. It’s a little bit like Everybody Eats, because different people come together and interact with one another and share things.
This library in particular has got quite a nice street frontage, so it's a place where people tend to just sit down, or hang out with their dog. I like places like that.
TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre
The art collection is pretty impressive [exhibitions are curated from the more than 9000 works in the Wallace Arts Trust’s collection, as well as regional touring exhibitions]. It’s a little inner-city oasis, perched on a hill in beautiful grounds. The homestead is an old, almost regal building. And it's quiet and not too busy.
There's a nice cafe up there as well. If you want to go to a cafe, then why don't you go to a suburb you don’t normally go to, go for a walk, and then try somewhere new? Having these little local experiences within Auckland is a great part of living in the city.