According to the 1964 book “City of Volcanoes. A Geology of Auckland”, the volcanic cone complex at Three Kings (which encompasses Winstone Aggregates land and adjoining properties) has been subject to quarrying from about the time the Winstone brothers started their horse and cart deliveries of coal from the Queen Street wharf in the mid 1800s.
Historical records show that Governor Fitzroy granted the land to Messrs Hallimore and Polack in 1845. Winstone Ltd purchased the site in 1922 from a William Connelly who had acquired the fee simple in May 1884.
Prior to the 1960s, quarrying occurred above the level of surrounding land and there were three quarries in the vicinity of the 15 hectare Winstone property. Today, none of the original topography remains and the entire site has been lowered to road level or below.
Quarry activity to the north of the current Winstone Aggregates site ceased about 25 years ago, and it was subsequently filled and rehabilitated and now houses a mix of light industrial and residential development.
To the south and southwest is previously quarried reserve land. Last quarried under the direction of the Mt Roskill Borough Council, it ceased in the mid 1970s and is now managed by Auckland Council.
In the north-eastern corner of the 15 hectare site are buildings and industrial yards originally established in the 1950s when Winstone’s developed New Zealand’s first concrete masonry manufacturing plant (Vibrapac). Its products were made largely from the scoria available on the site taking advantage of its relatively light weight. A builder’s supply yard then operated from these premises until 1997.
The quarry’s output grew steadily with the development of the surrounding community and reached its present capacity in the 1950s. Mines returns and company records show that annual production has exceeded 200,000 tonnes, but the current average is much lower though this is supplement by the import of additional products for re-sale.