Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Exploring the history of NPDC’s Pukekura Park

Behind the Green Flag: Exploring the history of NPDC’s Pukekura Park

Did you know a record 12,000 people turned out to the Pukekura sports ground on 16 July 1921 to watch the Springboks draw 0-0 with Taranaki’s own rugby 1st XV?

The Hawera and Normanby Star reported “the largest crowd that ever mustered in the park” was three deep on the famous terraces.

It’s just one of the Pukekura Park highlights recorded by NPDC Botanical Records Officer Ian Hutchinson.

Ian started his career as an 18-year-old horticulture apprentice with the then New Plymouth City Council in 1979.

For the last seven years, he’s been digging through the history of NPDC’s Pukekura Park to find out about early plantings and to prepare for the park’s guided walks.

“Pukekura Park has a Green Flag awarded to world-class parks and it’s a Garden of National Significance. We need to keep records of the older plant specimens in the park and in amongst that is an enormous amount of New Plymouth and Taranaki social history,” says Ian.


“Because the park dates back to 1876, a lot of the research throws up fascinating information that still helps us manage the park today and tells us more about one of our historic landmarks and the community around it.”

Ian, who grew up in New Plymouth, has worked on various projects around the district including the plantings when Puke Ariki Landing was first developed in the 1980s.

He’s also a regular with the New Plymouth Operatic Society and familiar in local arts circles.

Did you know?

· Pukekura was a shooting range before the park was created in 1878. The local militia used to practice rifle shooting across the valley at targets on the hillside east of where the main lake is now.

· A winery was once planned in Pukekura. From 1875 to 1881, German father and son Heinrich and Johann Briedecker had a vineyard in Stainton Dell. The business was abandoned, but plants grown from cuttings from the vineyard today grow near The Gables.

· A swimming club was formed at the newly created main lake in 1879, and a bathing shed was constructed where the Tea House now stands.

· Cannon Hill was once known as Flagstaff Hill because a flag pole once stood on top of the hill and a flag was raised to warn the gentlemen away when ladies were bathing in the Main Lake.

· The sports ground was originally a swamp, which was filled in 1881 using soil from the cutting through to Liardet Street and from the creation of the southern terraces. The level of the ground was raised with more soil from the creation the other seating terraces.

· A boxthorn hedge maze was planted in what is now Rhododendron Dell in 1892. The maze was abandoned in the late 1890s as the Recreation Grounds Board could not afford its upkeep.

· Kiwi were successfully bred in an aviary near the Fountain Lake in the early 1900s.

· Next time you’re taking in a band or Carols by Candlelight on the Hatchery Lawn, try to imagine that it was a lily pond until 1954. It is named for a trout hatchery there from 1909 until about 1928. The pond was filled in with soil from an island that was dug up to build the fountain in the Fountain Lake in 1954.

· Now it draws some of the biggest music acts from around the world, but the Bowl of Brooklands was a paddock where Newton King grazed stock and racehorses until his death in 1927.

· Slit trenches were dug alongside the main pathways in case of air raids during World War II.

· In 2003 filming of parts of The Last Samurai took place on the sports ground and the first WOMAD festival was held at Brooklands Park.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell : On Dealing With Impeccable, Impeachable Lies

By now, the end game the Republican Senate majority has in mind in their setting of the rules for the impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump is pretty clear to everyone: first deny the Democrats the ability to call witnesses and offer evidence, and then derisively dismiss the charges for lack of evidence. For his part, does former security adviser John Bolton really, really want to testify against his former boss? If there was any competing faction within the Republican Party, there might be some point for Bolton in doing so – but there isn’t. More>>

Published on Werewolf

 
 

WINZ Quarterly Report: More People Getting Into Work

The December quarter benefit numbers released today show the Government’s plan to get people off the benefit and into work is starting to pay off,” Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni said. More>>

ALSO:

Changing lives: Boost In Whānau Ora Funding

Whānau throughout New Zealand are set to benefit from an extra three million dollars that will go directly to Whānau Ora Commissioning Agencies, the Minister for Whānau Ora Peeni Henare announced today. More>>

ALSO:


PGF Kaikōura $10.88M: Boost In Tourism & Business

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. More>>

ALSO:

Whitebaiting: Govt Plans To Protect Announced

With several native whitebait species in decline the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has today released proposals to standardise and improve management of whitebait across New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:


Education: Resource For Schools On Climate Change

New resource for schools to increase awareness and understanding of climate change... More>>

ALSO:

In Effect April: New Regulations For Local Medicinal Cannabis

Minister of Health Dr David Clark says new regulations will allow local cultivation and manufacture of medicinal cannabis products that will potentially help ease the pain of thousands of people. More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On What An Inquiry Might Look Like

Presumably, if there is to be a ministerial inquiry (at the very least) into the Whakaari/White Island disaster, it will need to be a joint ministerial inquiry. That’s because the relevant areas of responsibility seem to be so deeply interwoven... More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels