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Palmerston North District Council

Submission re Hardie Park

The Palmerston North City Council recently put up a proposal to sell various reserves in the city. There was considerable opposition to the idea and over 300 submissions, most opposing the idea. Among those proposed for sale is the Hardie Street Reserve. We made a submission opposing its sale as did NZHPT and many others. Shortly before the local body elections the Council rescinded its decision and none of the reserves will be sold. 

Hardie St Reserve. The plaque is among the camellias on the right.

In 2005, the Manawatu Branch of the Historic Places Trust worked with the Camellia Society and other community groups on a project supported by the Council to beautify the space. A plaque commemorating 50 years of NZHPT and recording the names of the supporting groups, including Palmerston North City Council, was placed among extensive plantings of camellias. Like other societies we made a financial contribution to the planting on the basis of providing a ‘public good’.  The Council argued also that there are ample other reserves in the area, including Centennial Drive and the Esplanade. However, this small park is part of the historical development of Hokowhitu.

The whole area of Hardie, Collingwood, Jickell and Hughes Streets etc was initially Council leasehold land which was part of a borough reserve set aside in 1876 to be developed as a public park, recreation ground and botanic gardens.   It has been progressively freeholded. This park is one of the reserve contributions required in the subdivision of the 1950s, set aside for the use of the community.