Built in 1897, Ponsonby Community Centre was initially a school.  It was purchased by Auckland City Council in 1958 for use as a hall. The Centre has been rebuilt and completely refurbished since a fire in August 1999.

Since 1990, the Centre has offered expanded services including adult education and a pre-school as well as being a venue for hire.

This Centre is owned and supported by Auckland Council and is run independently by a Board of local residents and users of the Centre.  This is a community facility for the local community.  Your interest and input are needed by providing ideas and feedback on activities.

Ponsonby Community Centre Board is the committee that is responsible for governance decisions and has oversight of the smooth running and financial well-being of the Centre.  The Board members are elected from the local community at the Annual General Meeting.  They have skills in management, finance and governance and have the interests and health of the Centre and its activities at heart.

The Board members elected at the AGM for the 2016-17 year are: John Hill (Chair), Chris Small (Treasurer), Patricia Reade, Kate Stanton, Rachel Taylor, Stephanie McDonald and Claudia Maran. Richard Northey is the representative from the Waitemata Local Board on behalf of Auckland Council.

Contact information for Board members is available from the Centre, 378 1752 or email


Operating Philosophy

Vision:  Ponsonby Community Centre - a dynamic place to learn, grow and have fun together.


Purpose:  A not-for-profit organisation in Ponsonby providing social, educational and recreational activities for the community.


Values/Philosophy:  The Ponsonby Community Centre values the people in our community, especially our children.  

Our values are:

       ·       Honesty and integrity

·         An inviting environment

·         Accessibility

·         Diversity

·         Equality

·         Democracy


·      To provide resources, information and education.

·    To provide publicly available recreational facilities and a meeting place for the  wider community.

·      To provide a centre and focus for all people.

·      To provide accessible pre-school programmes.

·      To provide accessible community education classes.

·      To respond to community needs either within the Centre or by seeking the cooperation of  the community or Council.




Built in 1897, Ponsonby Community Centre was initially a school, called the Ponsonby side school.  It was purchased by Council in 1958 for use as a hall.

The building of the harbour bridge in 1959, and subsequent motorway developments across St. Mary's Bay were having devastating effects on the local community. Some 200 families, many of whom had been there sine the 1860’s, were forced to move out, while better transport to outer suburbs allowed others to leave the inner city.  Short term "renters" began to take their place - increasing numbers of rural Maori and pacific peoples from island states seeking work.

Peter Harwood had received a rotary fellowship to the United Kingdom and had seen the re-development after world war two.  He was impressed by the CAB movement that had begun.  Council appointed him to set up the country's first CAB at Ponsonby Community Centre,  and to report on what council could do to improve and better manage its urban renewal.

An embarrassing camp-out with Betty Wark and the street youth prompted council to house them in the Centre and subsequently arranged for her the first halfway house in O'Neill street, further activating council's role in community development.

Some time later, a former adviser recalls the wad of dollars offered by the king Cobras when council wouldn't spend any money on the Centre.  The work was finally done when the Tongan princess was due to come and open the Tongan pre-school.

In August 2012, the Ponsonby Community Centre took over the management of the Leys Institute Gymnasium Hall. The gymnasium hall play a key part in our local community being a place in which recreational activities took place such as basketball, gymnastics and boxing. Built in 1905 it is rich in history and will continue to be a key connection place for our Ponsonby community.

Ponsonby has been full of the famous and infamous, plans and issues, community and controversy, but the spirit of the Centre and its workers was most poignantly recorded by Fred Ellis, " a homeless person came in and I took him home!"  There are many stories about events, individuals and initiatives attributed to this Centre.  The people and the facility have provided a warm, supportive, local environment which encouraged initiatives that have impacted on many of our lives locally, citywide and nationally.


Hall Hire Fees

Venue hire rooms, per hour and capacity

Freda Stark Hall - $35 per hour, 80 pax
John Mitchell Hall- $35 Per hour, 80 pax
Glue Pot room - $30 per hour, 30 pax
Flora Mackenzie lounge - $20 per hour, 15 pax
Leys Institute Gymnasium Hall (20 St Marys Rd) - $30 per hour, 180 pax

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