For 144 years, the Bank of New Zealand has had a presence in Dargaville - until now.
Years of shared history have come to an end with the bank closing the branch when unable to renew its lease. It opted against shifting and the bank's last day in town was November 13.
For Grey Power members in Kaipara, the BNZ closure was the straw that broke the camel's back.
The organisation is now asking its members to share their concerns in writing about the gradual decline in banking and other essential services before a formal approach is made to their MPs, the Ombudsman, commercial banks, and the Government.
A bank spokesman said the Dargaville community would continue to be served with regular visits from Mobile BNZ, which offered a range of face-to-face services, including setting PINs on cards, discussing finances, and learning how to use digital services.
The service is available from Hokianga Rd, from 10am to 3pm on Tuesday and Wednesday.
"For security reasons, Mobile BNZ can't have cash on-board, but the Smart ATM will remain there for all over-the-counter style cash transactions. There is also a business deposit unit for business customers."
With the closure, the nearest BNZ branches are in Whangārei and Kaikohe, which is set to close in June.
Kaipara Grey Power Association member Stewart Quirk said there was more apprehension than anything else with the closure of essential services in small towns.
"Our members are worried about a future in a cashless society. We have decided to invite out members to share their concerns in writing over the next three months so we can present them to the relevant authorities," Quirk said.
He said an "awful lot" of Grey Power members were digitally illiterate and have no internet to be able to do internet banking, as was the norm these days.
BNZ customers who bank in Dargaville can make appointments or ask questions by emailing MobileBNZ@bnz.co.nz.
The closure follows the bank's decision to shut down its Kaikohe branch as part of 38 branches to go throughout New Zealand. After June, the only BNZ branches left in Northland will be Kaitaia, Kerikeri, and Whangārei.
The move comes a little over three years since the BNZ closed its Paihia branch. At that time the bank also cut its hours in Kaikohe and Dargaville so they were only open half the day; hours were further cut after the lockdown.
Despite the Dargaville branch closure, the BNZ has continued to trumpet its links to the town. On its website, customers are told the first branch was at Mangawhare, near the centre of modern Dargaville's main street.
The bank then opened a "sub-agency" in Dargaville itself. In 1886, an inspector wrote how road conditions meant "the agent ought to have the constitution and strength of a horse, and he has neither of these, but he makes no complaint".
"The roads between Mangawhare and Dargaville are impassable except for those who do not object to tramp over half a mile over the boots in mud."