Otari-Wilton's Bush Curator's House Upgrade

From Monday 28 April we’ll be converting the Otari-Wilton’s Bush Curator’s House into a public space for education, research and events - further improving the visitor experience at Otari.

Artist's impression of the Cockayne Centre

Artist's impression of the Cockayne Centre


Originally built in 1926, the building will be known as the Cockayne Centre to recognise Dr Leonard Cockayne who directed the development of Otari-Wilton’s Bush.

The project is funded by the Council and supported by Otari-Wilton’s Bush Trust. It demonstrates the Council’s commitment to Wellington becoming an eco-city and Otari’s role at the forefront of Our Living City.

Work being done

The house will be reconfigured to create new spaces for small events and meetings, and new public toilets will be built. The staff flat at the back of the building will be kept.

A large deck and new steps linking the house with the Cockayne Lawn will be built. The deck will serve as an outdoor classroom and visitor space, with great views of the native forest.

Otari staff will plant the gardens around the house and deck to showcase native plants suitable for use in home gardens.

The contractor is Wilson Building Limited, multiple winners of the Master Builders House of the Year 2013 Awards.

Time frame

The work will take 4 months and will be finished in time for the Otari-Wilton’s Bush Open Day on Saturday 20 September.