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The Shell service station in Titirangi pumped its last litre at the end of August. TONY WARING discovers that many locals are keen to know what will happen to the site. Speculation abounds in the village

as to whether the site reopens as a gas station, or is redeveloped as a block of flats with retail space at street level. The station has operated on the site since the 1960s but closed abruptly after negotiations between Shell and owner Kulwant Singh broke down over the renewal of the lease. With many locals saddened by the

and I was stunned when they announced they were pulling out. “I was in shock for a week and a half, but

now I am working with a petrol company and an architect on the new design and a consent application to Council. We are keen to give the station more of a Titirangi look.”

There’s been a service station in Titirangi for decades as this photo, Shops in Titirangi, taken by John Thomas

Diamond in 1965 shows. Photo courtesy of the J.T. Diamond Collection 02406 (10A), Auckland Libraries: West Auckland Research Centre.

closure, Kulwant, who operates the Handi Tandoori restaurant behind the gas station and Hell Pizza over the road, is dismayed at being portrayed as a villain; the result of other media reports and posts on a Facebook page, Save Shell Titirangi. “People miss having the station here, and the staff were very popular, but I tried very hard to come to an agreement to continue Shell’s lease

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However, the ongoing use of the site is uncertain. On Facebook, John Chapman, formerly on the executive of Titirangi Ratepayers and Residents Association, recalled a council officer addressing a meeting of the association around 18 months ago, and informing them of an

application to redevelop the site as a block of flats with a retail outlet. “My preference is for it to remain a petrol station,” says Kulwant. “But

the old tanks will have to be dug up and new ones installed, and the station is on a very small site. Council regulations have changed since it was built, so I don’t know what the outcome will be.” Local business owners hope that the site will continue as a gas

station, seeing it as an important part of the retail mix in the village. Shops and cafes suffered badly from a drop in pedestrian traffic when the village’s supermarket was closed in 2006 for seven months, as the result of a conflict between the council and the new supermarket operators, Progressive Enterprises, over unauthorised building work. Mike Carter has been at Titirangi Pharmacy for 40 years, and says

“…a gas station is absolutely vital to the village. Without it there will be one less reason to shop here, and it will be a huge inconvenience to those needing to fill up on their way to and from the west coast beaches and ranges.” Brent Gore, owner of the Hardware Cafe opposite the station, would

prefer to see the site retain its use, and laments the loss of an excellent operator. “It was one of the few that still lived up to the title of ‘service station’, and would actually serve the petrol for you. Nothing was too much trouble.”

Service the way it used to be We’ve got you covered

Good News! Titirangi hasn’t run dry on fuel so come and fill’er up at Kaurilands G.A.S on the corner of Atkinson and Kaurilands Roads, Titirangi. 817 7046

Full workshop service, WOF, tyres,

trailers and convenience store right on your doorstep so come down and say Gidday.


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