Former glory in reach for Pukeiti

ISOBEL EWING
Last updated 05:00 09/04/2014
tdn puke stand
ANDY JACKSON
TRC Chairman David MacLeod and Regional Gardens Manager, Greg Rine.

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Pukeiti is set for a multimillion-dollar makeover.

The Taranaki Regional Council is planning a $3 million upgrade of the regional garden facility over the next three years.

The 360-hectare property on Carrington Rd, bordering Egmont National Park, came into council hands from the Pukeiti Trust in 2010. The project is funded from the council's recreational and heritage moneys.

TRC manager of operations Stephen Hall said there was plenty of maintenance, possum control and a general revamp.

Work has begun, with new gravel paths improving access to the wider-reaching areas of the property and a 14-seater mobility buggy to ferry people around.

"It's had a long history of development and it's a large garden so needs a fair amount of upgrade to get it back to its former glory."

He said the aim was to get Pukeiti to an international standard.

Regional gardens manager Greg Rine gave a presentation to councillors yesterday at Pukeiti which included plans to overhaul the gatehouse and install a raised walkway through the conservatory housing the rare endangered rhododendron collection.

The plans show a modern, light-filled gatehouse with a cafe, space to be hired out for conferences and covered viewing platform looking out across the gardens.

TRC chairman David MacLeod said the garden was a significant asset and the council hoped to build on the foundation formed by the Pukeiti Trust in past decades.

The first year of the plan includes car park area upgrade, covered exhibition walks, Perrott House and conservatory, lodge, gate house and possum control.

The next two years include development of garden landscapes and features, refurbishing the lodge and upgrading Pukeiti lookout.

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