Local Support

Local Support

Ron Harcus – former Uptown Business Association Chair & Owner of Ariel Books Secondhand Bookshop.

We moved our bookshop here eight years ago because we liked the unusual business mix, quirkiness of the area, and the central locality. It soon became obvious there was a need for a Business Association to give local businesses a voice for our area – decisions were being made at local government level that directly impacted on business and residential activity and the area needed to be able represented to ensure the best outcomes. The launch of the Uptown brand is another exciting step as we work to introduce our exciting and varied businesses to locals and the greater Auckland area.


laila harreLaila Harre – Uptown Chair - Owner, IKA Restaurant

Laila Harre has had a long career in industrial relations and policy making. In 1996 Laila went into Parliament as an Alliance MP and served as a cabinet minister in the 1999-2002 Labour-Alliance coalition government. She was Minister for Women’s Affairs, Youth Affairs and Statistics and Associate Minister of Labour and Commerce, led a successful campaign for the introduction of paid parental leave and championed many other labour causes. Since 2002 Laila has held senior roles in the trade union movement and worked for the Auckland Transition Agency where she was responsible for all matters concerning the employment of local government staff and for establishing the new Auckland Council HR department

“Now as a local business owner of IKA Restaurant, I can see the potential of the Uptown area, and am keen to contribute to make the area a thriving, exciting community, alongside other local business owners who are keen and passionate to make Uptown the place to live, work and play.”


Mike Brewer LRMike Brewer – Deputy Chair - CEO, Rhema Media

Mike Brewer has been Rhema Media CEO for the last three years, following a big move for him and his entire family to Auckland from Taranaki in late 2012.  Mike has been married for nearly 28 years to Rhonda and they have four children, Jordayna (21) Renee (19) Jayden (17) and Ella (12).  They live on the North Shore with their much loved dog Charlie (2 or 14 in dog years).

Mike's background before Rhema Media was in commercial radio (Mediaworks) for a decade, and newspaper, online and print media (Fairfax) for 9 years.  His experience in these fields for nearly two decades began in sales and progressed to sales management and general management.  

“I love working in the Uptown Business area because it is on the fringe of the CBD and it has a laid back atmosphere and friendliness that I and all our team at Rhema Media enjoy.  It also has an exciting future with the development of CRL among other things that will make it an even more popular part of the city.”


AnnetteAnnette Sleep – Managing Director, O'Neils Personnel

My involvement with the Eden Terrace Business Association began in 2011 when I attended a public meeting in an upstairs room of a bar in Symonds St! Now nearly two years later, I have experienced the sometimes fractious, often frustrating but always positive energy of the great group of people on the ETBA Committee. Our new brand "Uptown" is exciting and edgy – just like the businesses, and their owners, in our district. Moving forward we want to encourage our members to use the Uptown brand to help market their businesses. "Moving up in the world – O'Neils Personnel, Uptown Auckland".


John Lines CROP


John Lines – Owner, Symonds Street Drycleaners.

Symonds Street Drycleaners was established in 1989 and has been a family run business for all of its twenty three years of operation on Symonds Street. The great attraction to this area was reasonable rent, rates and room to grow – an appeal which is still here. This is one of the few areas that can, and is still, growing on the city fringe which creates an Uptown look and feel.


Gary Langsford EDIT


Gary Langsford – Owner & Director, Gow Langsford Gallery.

Gary Langsford and Vicki Vuleta developed 55 Upper Queen Street in 2006 to function both as an inner city home and premises for their design store "Design 55". Recently featured in "Urbis" magazine, the building contains a two-level 550 square metre residence, a design store on the Upper Queen Street level and car parking and café on the DacreStreet side. Langsford and Vuleta perceived this area as a neglected part of the city ripe for some exciting new development that combined both residential and commercial. The zoning allowed this to happen and already other exciting architecturally designed buildings are beginning to appear in the area.


perrin melchoir

Perrin Melchior – Owner, Kiteworks.

Kiteworks has been selling kites in the Uptown area for more than 20 years. I am really passionate about the area, and as I both work and live here, I find it very central to all the things I need and access to all the motorways makes for easy travel to the beach or parks on the weekends. I welcomed the chance to make a positive contribution to the area by joining the ETBA and becoming a member of the board. I believe that efforts of the association will greatly enhance the Uptown community in the future to come.


Keith ScottKeith Scott – Owner, Scotties Car Rentals

The biggest benefit of being in Uptown according to Scotties Car Rentals owner Keith Scott is location, location, location. The mid-sized car rental company has been based at its New North Rd site for the past 12 years and Keith says it is the perfect place for his business given how close it is to the CBD, to motorways and public transport and to his home in Mt Eden. Keith believes the Uptown precinct has a great future and that it can't lose because of its strategic positioning in central Auckland.


Peter Eising


Peter Eising – Director, Pacific Environments Architects Ltd








Emma Sparks LR

Emma Sparks – Owner, Cafe Twentythree & The Corner Store






Kevin Sparks – Uptown Property Owner