Auckland's best-known street woman has died.
The woman, known as Margaret, has been a presence on Karangahape Rd for at least 20 years, according to the Heritage Manager of the K Rd Business Association, Edward Bennett.
"I was looking at old photographs of K Rd, and one that had been taken in about 1988. There sitting in front of the building was Margaret."
Bennett says Margaret has no known last name, and he understands police are currently trying to track down any possible relatives.
He did not know how she died.
"I understand she was found yesterday. She had been in hospital last year for some time because of numerous medical things. She had been getting noticeably thin lately."
Bennett says Margaret was not homeless, based on what she had told him.
"As I understand, from what she said when I'd spoken to her a number of years ago, she actually lived in a unit in Parnell."
As yet there are no funeral plans for Margaret.
"I have informed Methodist Church here on Pitt St and K Rd but I don't know. I assume something will develop."
Sofia Mella of the tattoo parlour The Tattooed Heart on Karangahape Rd says she has known Margaret for 16 years.
"I didn't know her-know her. We started chatting this year because she started looking a bit worse for wear and everybody was hoping to help her out a little bit I suppose," she says.
"In the last few years I'd say she mellowed a lot. When I was a teenager she used to scream at me a lot. She hasn't done that for quite along time."
Mella, who wrote a blog post about Margaret's death, says she was a big part of the K Rd community.
"My landlord Glen who owns the building the Tattooed Heart is in has been talking for quite a long time about getting a bronze sculpture made of Margaret sitting in that seat. She's such an icon. It's super sad."
Aucklanders also took to Twitter to show their respect for Margaret, with many wishing her peace or remembering encounters with her.
Peter Fogarty wrote: " R.I.P Margaret, you wild woman, I hope you enjoyed all the cigarettes we gave you."
Ying Kong wrote: " RIP Margaret. You were one of K'rd's finest."
That was Margaret in 2007.
I found this rather moving eulogy in her honour this afternoon, as well.
I never spent much time in K Road, despite the fact that i lived just down the road. Every once in awhile i would venture up there to browse the second hand shops - there is a fantastic one called The Paper Bag Princess that i used to like to visit. The knick knacky Asian shops were always good for finding things that were labelled with expensive brand names - for $2 dollars, as well. I think i still have some of that MAC brand makeup that those shops sold. I am sure that just having the brand on the packaging made me look so much better...nevermind what product was actually in the container.
I think K Road and the people that frequent that area, started to scare me around the same time, that i offered to drive Denise - the old drug addict that i used to refer to as "The Witch" - cause she looked like one - up to K Road because i was worried about her walking up there by herself to sell drugs. I ended up sitting in the driver's side of my car with three trannies in the back seat, wondering how long it was going to be before this drug deal goes wrong, and i get a size 12 stiletto in the temple.
Yeahhhhh that was pretty much, more than enough of K Road, and the whole atmosphere that it has going on, for me. I never got a stiletto in the temple, Denise, the witch successfully completed her drug deal, and i stuck to only ducking into K Road at 1am to visit one of the many dairies that sell crack pipes, after that.
I found it to be a rather scary place. I wonder what the attraction was for Margaret.