Wellington City is reviewing reserve management plans for several reserves around the city, including Truby King Park. Prior to revising the management plan WCC has asked our Association for feedback on four specific questions (by 12 July):
- What is it about Truby King Park that makes it important to the community now?
- What is working well and why?
- What would you like to see improved and why?
- And how would you prioritise these improvements and why?
A city park adjoining the Town Belt since the late 1980’s Truby King House and Gardens in Melrose are Newtown’s a quirky hilltop look-out. With great views over Newtown, Evans Bay Kilbirnie and Lyall Bay this enclave is well worth a visit from the connecting Town Belt, or up the driveway at 21 Manchester Terrace.
Originally home for Sir Truby and Lady Isabella King this heritage-listed estate was the heart of the Plunket Society they founded. Established in the 1920s the garden setting the King’s planted were a utopian vision for home, work and maternity care.
The public gardens meander past the historic ex-Karitane Baby Foods Factory (which has become apartments) to connect with the (now privately owned) former 1925 Karitane Maternity Hospital and its 1960’s nurses home just outside the park.
As well as their life’s work improving the welfare of mothers and babies the King’s, particularly Truby, had a mad passion for constructing zany landscape features and walkways. The “Thunderbirds are go” style Nurses home, Truby’s and Isabella’s mausoleum and the ex-hospital’s derelict cliff top tennis court vie for the title of weirdest structures in, or nearby, the public reserve.
But don’t take our word for it, come explore the semi restored house and gardens, and sneak a peek at the accompanying privately owned remnants of the Plunket empire.
We are keen to your hear ideas for how WCC might showcase and curate this picturesque, eccentric, rambling slice of nationally significant history.