Karangahape Road (K'Rd) was Auckland's 'shopping street' from the 1880's through to the late 1980's. But, from the 1960's on it held a special place for Pacific Islanders living in Auckland at the time, especially on Thursday late night shopping nights when the street came alive with colourful island wear and families doing everything from food shopping to buying school uniforms.
Many islanders growing up in the city at that time have fond memories of the street that they called 'Coconut Grove' because of the number of islanders you could find there.
The height of this phenomenon was during the 1980's but with the advent of malls, a population ever moving out from the city and other changes seen during the 1990's, Coconut Grove was soon diminished - but not forgotten!
The new Coconut Grove event (organised by the Waiata Artists Trust & the Polynesian Panthers) is part of K'Rd's revitalisation and celebratory programme called 'First Thursdays', which happens on the first Thursday of each month where the street takes on a carnival type atmosphere.