Best in the west since 1963

21:38, Nov 27 2013
Western Leader front page
The Western Leader circulates to over 69,000 homes throughout west Auckland three times a week.

Contact the editorial team on phone: 837-0340 or email:

About Us

The Western Leader has been the number one read out west since its launch in 1963.

It started as an amalgamation of two smaller community mastheads bought by Suburban Newspapers - the company formed by the late Denis Chicken and originally based at Stoddard Rd, Mt Roskill.

The name Western Leader was dreamed up by Donald Watson of Titirangi who won three guineas for his suggestion when the public was invited to submit ideas.

The paper went bi-weekly in 1968 after a buy out of the Waitakere Gazette - an early advocate of the same grassroots community reporting the Western Leader is renowned for today. It was based in the same Henderson building since its shift from Mt Roskill in 1975 but recently moved to 2 Waipareira Ave, Henderson.


It has won numerous Qantas Media awards over the years including best front page in 2004 and was a winner in the 2008 Excellence in Reporting Diversity Awards sponsored by the Human Rights Commission and the New Zealand Journalism Training Organisation.

Its reporters and photographers have also featured prominently in various awards over the decades and many have gone on to take up senior media roles both here and overseas.

The paper is a past and present sponsor of community initiatives including the annual Glen Eden U14 Fun Run, the Waitakere Business Awards, the All American Soapbox Derby, the Waitakere City Secondary Schools Gateway Programme, the Don Oliver Foundation Awards and the Sport Waitakere Awards.

It circulates to over 69,000 homes throughout the west three times a week and is a longtime major supporter of the HSBC Round the Bays event organised by its parent company, Fairfax Media.

Key staff

Western Leader and Nor-west News sales manager: Julie Cooper - “I am a mother of two adult boys and the grandmother of two with another due in December. I have grown up in areas where Suburban Newspapers play important parts in people’s lives – whether they be looking for jobs or wanting to keep up to date with what’s going on in the community.

"I have been in this position since March 2008 but joined the company in 1999 with the Manukau & Papakura Couriers as a copy coordinator. I worked my way up into a Sales Consultant role and became Assistant Sales Manager  two years later. I have also been Caretaker Manager for the Eastern Courier and Rodney Times."

Melanie Louden, Editor

I did a Bachelor of Communication Studies at AUT and joined Suburban Newspapers in 1999 where I moved up the ranks from reporter to chief reporter before becoming an editor in 2007.

In August 2011 I was appointed editor at the Central Leader and lead a talented team - a chief reporter, three reporters and a photographer.

I took over the role as editor of the Western Leader in Nomvember 2013.

I love working in community news and enjoy being able to bring our readers news about what is happening in their backyard and information about issues that affect them.

We report the controversial and debatable topics, while celebrating the small, the big and the outstanding.

Have you got a story for us? Contact the editorial team on phone: 837-0340 or email:

Western Leader