Nestled under Maungawhau ‘mountain of the whau’, Newmarket held a position of strategic importance to
the various iwi that occupied the land here, including Ngāti Awa, Waiohua, Ngāti Whātua, Ngāpuhi and Ngāti Pāoa. Many land ownership challenges ensued but by the time European settlers arrived in the vicinity the tribes were sparsely dispersed across the isthmus making way for Ngāti Whātua to engage with the British Crown and then ultimately negotiate the sale of land.
Māori knew Newmarket as Te Tī Tūtahi ‘Sacred Cabbage Tree Standing alone’. The original cabbage tree stood at the corner of Mortimer Pass and Broadway. The tree was sacred to Māori and was a well-known landmark for those travelling between the Waitematā and Manukau harbours, and beyond. Sadly, Te Tī Tūtahi was cut down in 1908 as it
was considered ‘a danger to children’ attending the local school. The Buckland family, headed by Alfred Buckland,
a local businessman, farmer and auctioneer, lived nearby in Highwic House, rescued some of the shoots from
the tree. These shoots were used to populate the trees on Lumsden Green many years later and were also included as part of the Teed Street upgrade in 2017.
In the past, the precinct has housed cattle yards, ironmongers, Chinese market gardens, sawmills, breweries and bakers, as well as general retail. People gathered from near and far to buy and sell their wares. Newmarket has been a work horse, housing multitudes of businesses over the generations and has provided thousands of jobs to workers. Its industrial past has morphed into a present day high-end urban town centre where you will find an abundance of commercial and corporate operators, NZ fashion designers, local and international retailers, hospitality outlets, a vast array of fitness centres and beauty outlets amongst other things.