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Start-up store to 'captivate' town centre


The Māngere Town Centre is one of the oldest and most popular shopping centres in Auckland.

But it is also known as a hub for dollar dealers and fast food.

However one charity is hoping to bring a fresh approach for shoppers with a new shop called the Nesian Collective.

The store will enable local, culturally inspired start-ups and online-based businesses to have a site to sell their products in the town centre.

I AM Māngere is behind the idea and its chief executive Toni Helleur says it came as a result of extensive community research.

“We’ve done surveys with the community about what they want in the town centre.

"What they all say is that the place needs a facelift, and the shops aren’t relevant or are boring - so this piece of work has come from that.”

The initiative will see five businesses sharing a shop opposite the Māngere Town Centre Library, and includes: Emz Pineapple Pies, Marlina's Cookies, Savage Designs, EBM Artistry, and jewellery by Golden Gardenia.

Ernestina Bonso-Maro runs EBM Artistry and she will be selling merchandise and clothing as well as using the shop as a way to introduce young people to the fashion industry and modelling opportunities.

“People know the town centre for the $2 shops or the takeaways, but this will bring a different experience for people,” she says.

“I think youth will come in and feel captivated as they see what we each do. "And what’s cool is that we’re all unique, we’ve all got a story, everyone’s going to bring their own fire and we’re not going to be another $2 shop.”

Helleur says this initiative is part of I AM Māngere’s wider work to empower local entrepreneurs.

“When this one popped up - we thought this needs to be for our small businesses. And we’ll be behind the scenes offering mentoring and funding applications and stuff like that."

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