Share the Park campaign underway


A campaign to reopen The Sculpture Park at Waitakaruru Arboretum as a public park is underway.

The 17.5ha park, rehabilitated from a disused quarry over the last 26 years, has been a popular art exhibition space, and recreation area since the first sculpture exhibition was staged in 2003.

Owners John and Dorothy Wakeling believe the future of the park, 15km east of Hamilton, lies in sharing it without charging entry fees, provided the cost of maintaining the park can be covered. They want visitors to enjoy a unique, natural environment, see the results of a challenging and successful rehabilitation project, and have an arts-in-nature experience.

The Wakelings are keen for the park and its biodiversity to be secured for future generations.

A crowd funding campaign has been launched on an arts fundraising website – click here – hoping to raise the necessary funds for an independent assessment of ongoing maintenance and health and safety needs.

These reports will be necessary to inform potential sponsors of their likely financial commitment and also document the degree of public support for the park to be more accessible.

“We believe there could be a number of options for sponsors ranging from a licence to occupy the park to a business proposition such as a conference centre,” Dorothy Wakeling said.

To remind people what the park has to offer, the park will be open to the public without charge on  Waitangi Day, from 10am to 5pm.


The fabulous Wai Taiko drummers performing at the Sculpture Park.


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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

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