Hundreds of people flooded through the doors of Auckland's newest mall today when NorthWest opened for business.

The new 100-shop $160 million mall in West Auckland was officially opened at 9.30am.

Shoppers milled through the mall while students from Hobsonville Primary School performed songs.

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• West Auckland mega shopping mall opens today


The mall lets in a lot of light and has greenery in the centre of the shopping area. A food court with big windows along one side was up one end near a Countdown supermarket, while a two-level Farmers store is at the other end.

Shops outside the Countdown have a service focus and include banks, telecommunication stores, nail, hair and massage salons and others.

Further towards the centre of the mall, shops have been leased to Michael Hill, Pascoes, Whitcoulls, Hartleys Fashion, Wallace Cotton, Meccano, The Majestic Tea Bar, Jeanswest, Glassons, Barkers, Max and Stewart Dawsons and The Body Shop.

Maureen Sharples with her daughters Holly (25) and Kimberley (28) and grandson Liam (4mths) with Carol Rutherford at the mall. Photo / Greg Bowker
Maureen Sharples with her daughters Holly (25) and Kimberley (28) and grandson Liam (4mths) with Carol Rutherford at the mall. Photo / Greg Bowker

The mall is at the new 56ha Westgate Town Centre where a Mitre 10 and Pak'nSave supermarket have already opened nearby.

Among the crowd of shoppers was the Sharples family with a guest from Wales.

Maureen Sharples, daughter Kimberley and grandson Liam live in Glen Eden and made the trip out to Westgate to see the mall open.

Kimberley said she had been looking forward to the mall opening for a while.

"I think it's going to be awesome. I have lots of friends that live in Kumeu and Riverhead, we will definitely be using it a lot."

Maureen Sharples said she didn't think she would be back to the mall again.

"I do my shopping in New Lynn and Henderson, but this does look very nice."

Kimberley's sister Holly had travelled from Meadowbank to join the family at the mall.

"I think it should be good for the area. It might encourage people to buy houses out west."

Carol Rutherford was visiting the Sharples family from Wales and said her initial impression was that the mall was "up-market".

"It looks like somewhere I'd like to spend time, shop, have a cuppa."

Andrea Scrimgeour lives in Massey and said she had been driving past the mall for a while, waiting for it to open.

"It's very impressive, surprising.

"It is bigger than I expected, it looked like it was smaller from the road, when I've driven past."

She was pleased her favourite shop Merric was in the mall and had bought a few things this morning. She expected to be back at the mall often.

Sharon Powell, 19, was shopping with her mum today, but wanted more fashion options in the mall.

"It's a bit smaller than I thought. I thought there would be more fashion shops."

She had bought a few items, but thought she would choose Westfield Albany or Sylvia Park for her next shopping trip.

Nearly half a million Aucklanders live within a 15-minute drive of NorthWest.

The mall was developed by an NZX listed business which was called DNZ Property Fund but has just been renamed Stride Property.

It is 2.7ha of internal floorspace and a third of a kilometre long, equivalent to the size of four rugby fields.