This east Auckland suburb developed slowly on land formerly occupied by Ngāi Tai. European settlement began in 1847 when three companies of the Royal New Zealand Fencibles were assigned to a defence post. They were retired soldiers enlisted to serve for seven years in exchange for a cottage and an acre of land. Howick was the largest of the Fencible settlements, with 804 people in three companies in 1848. All Saints (Anglican) Church was built in 1847 and is Auckland’s oldest church. After the 1860s New Zealand wars, cropping became the main activity, with wheat and oats the major exports. From the 1980s new Asian migrants arrived. By 2006, Asians made up 30% of Auckland East’s population.

Meaning of place name
Named after Lord Howick, about 1847. He was then Earl Grey, the British prime minister. Earl Grey, as secretary of state for war and the colonies, had approved the fensible settlement scheme, so this settlement was named after him. His residence was at Howick Hall in Northumberland.