Episode 3: Diane Middleton

Diane Middleton has a long history in Massey, having built a home on a section of former farmland in the mid-1970s.

35 years ago she turned the carport of the house on Cyclorama Crescent into the local baking empire known as Simply Homemade.

Today, her daughters and a team of staff keep the ovens running and a steady flow of biscuits, cakes and slices delivered to retailers all over Auckland and beyond.

Diane has seen a lot of change in her home suburb over the years, and she has no intention of moving any time soon!


I'm Diane Middleton, and I'm basically the owner of Simply Homemade.

My husband and I built here - bought this section 45 years ago and built this house on the section.

He and I split up a long time ago and I I have kept this business running through here for 35 years.

It's gone very well - it's gone from strength to strength with, obviously, my daughters working for me now - and staff as well.

I wasn't bought up in the area - I was more of a South Auckland girl - my husband and his family lived in Swanson and we ended up coming out here. It was very much a farming area, pretty much, just being set up.

And yes, just really liked living here. I've had a lot to do in the community. The girls went to Royal Road School, I was on the Board of Trustees there. I've had a lot to do - you know - out in the community.

Most of my time out here, I've had a car and been able to drive. Obviously, for anyone who hasn't got a car, it's a bit more difficult with public transport and everything. It's a very hilly area, so not really great for walking.

A lot of people think it's a long way from the city - and it's not. It's, you know, pretty close - we're just off the motorway and over the years, obviously, there have been some huge improvements with a lot of community-based things around.

Shopping centres close - you don't need to go very far. Schools are good - I've bought up three daughters here and they've all done well. And we've just always liked it here.

I don't intend on shifting anywhere else - I'm quite happy and content here!

Massey Matters