You could easily have mistaken the opening of Kmart in Petone for the finish line of a marathon.

More than 1000 people streamed through the front doors as soon as they opened at 8am.

They sprinted through as staff cheered from the sideline, red and white balloons hanging above them.

Keen punters were there by 6am but others chose to camp out overnight.


The only other Kmart store in the region is in Porirua.

An official opening ceremony was at 7.30am when the store was blessed and Hutt City Mayor Ray Wallace spoke.

Emma-Jane Kortegast and Hannah Barnett spent the night in their house bus across the road to make sure they were first in line.

They woke up at 5am to get McDonald's for breakfast and spent the morning rugged up watching a movie on their laptop to pass the time.

"It's really cool and it's finally in Petone so we don't have to go for a big drive every time. It's very exciting," Barnett said.

Kaylor Fox was also at the front of the line with her 9-month-old daughter in tow.

The self proclaimed "avid Kmart lover" arrived at 6am.

"It's pretty cold but it's pretty calm, I thought it was going to be a lot more hectic than this."


But by 7.30am the chaos arrived.

The 250 space carpark was full, traffic was queuing and children started to get jittery peering through the windows into the store.

National list MP Chris Bishop said the new store was good for economic development in Petone and had created 120 new jobs.

"They're really buzzing about the first day of work at the new store."