Pukekura Park - Land Acquisitions

The Recreation grounds was originally defined by the Taranaki Botanic Gardens Act 1876 and was an area of approximately 49 acres.  There were several additions prior to 1934 which are detailed below. In 1934 Brooklands and other pieces of land south of the Park were gifted to the Borough Council which are detailed at the bottom of this article. Here is a plan that shows what the contour of the park was like before work started on developing the park. An interesting feature is the ridge that went across Fillis Street where the eastern terraces of the Sportsground are which then ran east west north of Fillis Street and back into the park where the western terraces now stand. This created a horseshoe shape in the middle of which was a swamp, which would become the Sportsground.

The Taranaki Botanic Garden Act 1876 defined the Recreation Ground showing it to be approximately 49 acres, made up of 109 quarter acre town sections, some areas of paper roads and some green areas such as Area L, M and X. An interesting aspect of the act is section 18 which stated that “The Govenor may, on the petition of the majority of the members for the time being of the Board, or of two-thirds of the rate payers of the Borough of New Plymouth, dissolve the said Board, and on such dissolution the said lands vested by this Act shall be vested in the Borough of New Plymouth, and be managed by the said Borough as the Board is authorized to manage the said lands.”

Taranaki Botanic Garden Act 1876

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Recreation Ground Land Details


This map shows the makeup of the Recreation Ground as far as the original southern boundary, which was the northern edge of Holsworthy Road. The turquoise line is the modern- day boundary of the park.

Town sections with white numbers represent the original whole sections granted in the Taranaki Botanical Garden Act 1876. Two sections originally granted which do not appear on this map, 1047 and 1048 which are where the model train is situated on Gilbert Street.

Section with numbers, where 2 digits are white, and 2 digits are yellow indicates a part section.

Sections with yellow numbers were purchased later.

As well as numbered town sections the Board was also given areas marked “L” and “X” and part of “M” plus the areas of the streets within the boundary.  These are all detailed in the Taranaki Botanical Garden Act 1876.

Other sections, such as 1182, which are outside of the current boundary were part of the original quota but were released, usually as part of a land swap.

Changes to the Recreation Ground area. Purchases, swaps and donations:

1876     Section 1172 purchased for £62 14s from Mr. Stephenson.

1876     Section 1175 purchased for £50 from Mr. Hammerton.

1886     Section 1086 purchased for £40 from Mr. Dorsett.

1891     Sections 1107, 1108, 1127 and 1128 also part sections 1106, 1109, 1126 and 1129 purchased for £125 from Mrs Harriet Fookes. This block of land was originally known as Maori Reserve No 12.

1893     Section 1084 purchased for £25 plus a piece of land. Bought from Mr. Dingle. The piece of land exchanged was possibly section 1064.

1894     Section 1135 purchased for £16 16s from Reginald Bayley.

1899     Section 1182 transferred to Jockey Club as part of a land swap for the 3.5 acres below.

1901     3.5 acre block of land to the east of the Serpentine was transferred to the Recreation Ground from the Jockey Club. This area is Section D part 4 Sub1 – 3.2.0.

1922     Section 1117 on Fillis Street purchased (Kindergarten plot)

This section of land that was transferred from the Jockey Club to the Pukekura Park Board circa 1901. It is three and a half acres that lies east of the Serpentine and south of the Boatshed. 

Brooklands/ Maranui Gully Land Acquisitions

Brooklands and the Maranui Gully is a collection of parcels of land  most of which were gifted to the town. The first parcels donated were from the Brooklands estate of the late Newton King, an area of over 53 acres. This prompted Messrs. List and Wilkinson  to gift over 7 acres of the adjoining Maranui Gully. Although this was gifted in 1934 it was not officially part of Pukekura Park until 1944. Mr. List had promised to gift a second plot which was part of the list garden, once his wife had decided she could no longer look after the land. It would seem that with the outbreak of war getting help was difficult prompting her to hand over the land (plot C on adjacent map). To access this land from List Street the Council purchased a small area (plot D on adjacent map) from the List estate.

The other significant parcel of land is the plot marked F on the adjacent map and this was acquired from the Education Board in 2005. It had been part of the Highlands Intermediate grounds.

Parcels of land gifted to the town by the Newton King estate in 1933. The total area being 55 acres, 2 roods and 25.12 perches (Puke Ariki ARC 2014-042)

Parcels of land acquired from the List estate in 1944. The larger section being 4 acres, 3 roods and 32 perches was part of the List garden that had been promised by Mr. List when his wife could no longer look after it. The smaller section being slightly over 3 roods in area was purchased by the council for £100 from the List estate. (Puke Ariki ARC2014-043)

September 9, 2004 Taranaki Daily News