In the mid-1960s, Parnell narrowly escaped a high-rise-concrete fate when eccentric dreamer Les Harvey raised enough money to whisk the quaint but dilapidated shops and wooden villas from under the developers’ noses. He then campaigned against New Zealand’s strict trading laws, with the result that during the 1970s and much of the 1980s Parnell was the only place in Auckland where you could shop on a Saturday. Parnell Road soon established a reputation for chic clothes shops, swanky restaurants and dealer art galleries that it retains today.

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