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Spotlight on Mangere, South Auckland

Named after Mangere Mountain, one of Auckland’s largest volcanic cones, the name “Mangere” comes from the Maori words ‘hau mangere’ meaning lazy winds, after the shelter the mountain provides from the prevailing westerly wind.
Mangere Mountain is a volcanic park situated on the shores of the Manukau Harbour, about 13km from downtown Auckland and just minutes from Auckland International Airport.
The mountain has a rich and turbulent history, both volcanic and human. The nature of its ‘birth’ and the sequence of eruptions can be seen in the remaining cone, craters and firepits. There are also many marks on the mountain made by humans including Maori-made terraces and pits that mark their long occupation of the mountain.
The Ambury Regional Park sits on ash-covered lava flows from the eruption of Mangere Mountain over 18,000 years ago.
Known as a very multicultural with a population of just over 55,000, comprising European, Maori, Pacific Islander, Asian and Indian people all living in close proximity, Mangere also has a reputation as a hotbed for producing top sporting talent.
Names like Rugby Union pair Jonah Lomu and Frank Bunce roll off the tongue easily, as does that of Shotput champion Valerie Adams and boxing hero David Tua, all testimony to Mangere’s strong reputation for producing winners.
Despite that array of world class sporting ability, perhaps Mangere’s most famous son is former Prime Minister of New Zealand, the late David Lange, who was the Member of Parliament for Mangere from 1977 until 1996.
Today, Mangere is represented in the Parliament by the MP Su’a William Sio, of the Labour Party.
It has four major sub-areas; Mangere Bridge, Mangere Central and Mangere East, with the fourth, Favona in the east, sometimes counted as part of Mangere as well.
Houses are a mixture of villas and bungalows, often located on former farms or market gardens developed by the state in the 1940s to 1960s.
When in Mangere you can check out the great views across Manukau Harbour from the top of Mangere Mountain, and see remnants of the large fortified Maori pa.
Even more history can be unfolded by following the trail through the archaeological Otuataua Stonefields site.
After meeting the friendly farm animals at Ambury Regional Park, head to Mangere Bridge Village, the community at the heart of Mangere.
The OFC U-20 Women’s Championship kicks off on February 18 when Tonga face Papua New Guinea and hosts New Zealand take on Vanuatu at Centre Park, home to Mangere United.
The league-based tournament format concludes on February 22.
Coverage of the competition will be provided by www.oceaniafootball.com.
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