The upgrade at Pukehuia Park, formally Newlands Park, has been underway since 2019, with numerous consultations with the community for input on the plan and design.
Construction work started on the $3.6 million upgrade in 2020 and after much anticipation is soon going to be open for the community to enjoy.
The upgrade, part funded by a $1.54 million grant from Plimmer Bequest, features:
- Two new play areas, one for toddlers and younger children and another for older kids
- An all-weather artificial surface for informal sports – including a marked-out Ki-O-Rahi pitch
- A basketball half-court
- A boardwalk with a small wetland area
- A revamped skate area
- Pump track – picnic and BBQ area
- An expanded car park and improved entrance area
Takapū/Northern Ward Councillor Jill Day says the community has been excited about this upgrade for a while now, and it will be well worth the wait for them and visitors to the area.
“This is a great moment for Newlands – this is one of the biggest park and playground projects by Wellington City Council in recent years. It recognises that the population of the Newlands area is growing – and that it’s a young population.
“Newlands Park was identified as a redevelopment opportunity as part of the Northern Reserves Management Plan.
“We are proud of the significant community input into this project and are looking forward to welcoming our partners, locals and whānau to the completed park, to see its unique features like the wetland area, new walking tracks, skate park, basketball court, pump track and play spaces for big and little kids.”
The name Pukehuia translates as ‘hill of the huia bird’, a bird which was once prolific in the area but is now sadly extinct.
It was put forward by Ngā Hau e Whā o Paparārangi, kaitiaki of the whare on Ladbrooke Drive, during consultation period for the redevelopment. Councillors voted for the park to be renamed in February 2020. The huia bird has been incorporated in some design aspects of the park and in the on-site signage.
Councillor Day adds she is pleased the upgrade has reached completion and is another significant investment in the northern suburbs.
“The opening of Pukehuia Park is the latest addition of upgrades and new facilities in the area following the opening of the new sports hub Waiora at Alex Moore Park in March, and the Keith Spry Pool refresh is due for completion next month.
“I’m most excited about Wellington’s first all-weather Ki-O-Rahi pitch opening and being able to head along with my tamariki to play this traditional Māori game.”
Schedule of events:
6.15 am – Congregate, ready for ceremony
6.30 am – Official dawn blessing
7.30 am – Kai
8 am – Play time begins
11 am – Official event ends