Franklin and Manukau make up Counties.

We have the Counties Manukau Police, the Counties Manukau Health Board, and many other similarly named organisations. I certainly know where Manukau is, but where are these counties? Do they actually exist? Carol Morrison, Manukau.

As far as I can ascertain, the counties are Manukau and Franklin. Quite why it's called Counties Manukau and not Manukau Franklin is unclear, but I surmise it's to do with the fact that the largest commercial centre is in Manukau City, so it retains its name.

In 1876, with the demise of provincial government, county government was introduced. Manukau County as defined in the Counties Act 1876 stretched from Otahuhu to the Waikato River. However, no effective county administration was set up within the latter area, and local affairs remained in the hands of the highway boards (from 1883 called road boards). Papakura set itself up as a town district in 1882.

In 1911 Manukau County was divided into Manukau County in the north and Franklin County in the south, and management boards were established. (Source: Auckland Libraries heritage section, local history)

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Why is the speed zone in Silverdale still 80km/h? It is built up and now has some big stores, extra traffic lights, and so on, totally unsuitable for 80km/h. Also there is nowhere for pedestrians to cross the road. In Greville Rd, Browns Bay it changes to 80km/h just before traffic lights and shops, again a built-up area. Neither of these speed zones makes any sense. Janet Page, Browns Bay.

Historically both these roads have had 80km/h speed limits because of their arterial function, large areas of adjacent undeveloped land, and limited access where adjacent land has been developed.

In both cases Auckland Transport is reviewing the speed signs and expects to reduce the speed limit.

Do you have any idea what is going on at the intersection of Titirangi Rd and Great North Rd? The building that used to house John Andrew Ford has been bowled over, the businesses beneath the building have been removed and it is now just rubble. Tina Wemyss, West Auckland.

There is a Bunnings Warehouse going in there, as you probably now know, as the signs have gone up.

Bunnings has resource consent to develop the 12,700sq m store on this corner on the 2.2ha site it has owned for some years. About 300 undercover carparks in a multi-level development, garden centre, DIY retail and trade sales areas are planned.