Landmarks Newsletter December 2020




HASTINGS supreme winner

Hasten to Hastings and its surroundings for a festive, cultural and visionary bonanza of events and activities.

Welcome to another wonderful Hawke’s Bay summer! We are coming to the end of an unusually difficult year but with good fortune and advice from our national health experts we can aim to enjoy all that us on offer in this beautiful part of the world.

In such a year as this it was marvellous that Hastings won the 2020 Keep New Zealand Beautiful Award for the Most Beautiful Large Town and became the Supreme Winner of the Most Beautiful Towns & Cities in New Zealand.

Landmarks Trust congratulates all who contributed to the honour: Hastings District Council, especially the Public Open Spaces team (with whom the Landmarks Trust work closely), businesses and the good citizens of our district who continue to make a difference. A brilliant achievement and outcome.

The Supreme Awards celebrate the environmental excellence of communities, businesses, schools and individuals in New Zealand as well as the beautiful landscapes, parks and reserves and, more importantly, the work that goes on behind the scenes by both the community and Council to maintain the status quo and to support, sustain and retain the honour.

The judges loved Hawke’s Bay Arts and Events Centre; including Functions on Hastings, the Cushing Theatre and the Opera House. They were truly wowed by the preservation of the history and culture, the integration of all of the spaces there for the community and visitors to enjoy. An environment in which we have the good fortune to reside.

Jeremy Dwyer, the Landmarks Trust founder of twenty years ago, would be delighted. His vision was always to create a place in which to live, work and enjoy. And we love to share it!

Therefore, “HASTEN TO HASTINGS” for the visionary bonanza of festive and cultural delights, events and activities (many of which Landmarks Trust have played a role) and are highlighted in this newsletter for your exploration.

New Executive members required

The Landmarks Trust Executive are seeking and welcome new talent. For those who appreciate all that our district offers and vision for its future potential DO consider joining our team and contact:

Ruth Vincent
Email: [email protected]

John Eadon
Phone: (06) 876 6080
Email: [email protected]

All interested parties welcome.


Membership Subscription

For a Christmas stocking surprise consider the gift of a 2021 Annual Membership subscription @$25 for a loved one or dear friend to support the good work of the Landmarks Trust.


Email: [email protected]

Facebook: Hastings Landmarks Trust

We would love to hear from you.



Public Art


Created by Philipp Meier

Commissioned by Hastings Landmarks Trust to commemorate our 20th Anniversary, the ‘Prunus Awanui’ sculpture will be the exciting new centrepiece of the newly rejuvenated Landmarks Square in Warren Street, Hastings that is due for completion in the coming months.

Philipp Meier chose the local widely-planted flowering cherry as the theme for the sculpture. This motif directly references the work of the late mayor Jeremy Dwyer, who founded the Landmarks philosophy and the planting initiatives undertaken as part of the tenets that have promoted excellence in Architecture, History, Landscape and Public Art since the Trust’s initiation in 2000.

The form of the sculpture is constructed from painted steel which was created with a dramatic change in scale by “blowing up” a blossom flower to the size of a tree. This presents an opportunity for the work to be closely investigated or even climbed upon by children, along with the encouragement for physical and sensory interaction with art, as well as breaking down the barriers around approaching art in public places.

Philipp Meier has worked extensively with councils on public art projects and the development and design of sculptural playgrounds, and this includes regular collaboration with engineers, landscape architects and other artists around New Zealand. With a background in architecture, visual arts and design he describes himself as a ‘steel tailor’ working from patterns and then cutting and constructing in his chosen material which is steel.

Philipp’s appointment to undertake the Prunus Awanui commission, was the result of his nationwide reputation and the local relationships he has built up over a period of time, having completed a number of successful projects. As a resident of Hawke’s Bay, Philipp Meier has a familiarity and understanding of the community and culture within the region. This knowledge, along with his awareness of regulatory and logistical requirements needed to undertake such public works, has resulted in the completion of this, his latest major sculpture to be erected for the beautification of Hastings City Centre and for the enjoyment of its people and all visitors.


Here are some suggestions of great places to enjoy this summer. The Landmarks Trust has played a role in the development of these ventures:

Our wonderful cycle trails, kilometres of them in town and country, riverside and seaside, promoted by Landmarks in the first public discussions almost 20 years ago. Now used by thousands, they are also a major draw card to the region. Many have storyboards and the latest improvements are the new kiosks on the Cape Coast Art and Heritage Trail. Maps are available to download:

The pocket parks of Hastings are designed to provide shady “breathing spaces” in the inner city. They often sport interesting sculpture, art or installations and play host to events, such as in Albert Square. The first pocket park created was Landmarks Square in Warren Street North, where the large and stunning sculpture “Prunus Awanui” by Philipp Meier will be unveiled before the end of 2020.

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While still in the City Centre, check out the new Eat Street that is the “200 Block” (the second block east of the railway line on Heretaunga Street). The choice is the hardest part! With our balmy summer nights, a perfect place to dine or tipple.

Walk off the excesses of Hastings, the Food Basket of New Zealand, by taking a stroll to marvel at the impressive make-over of Toitoi, the Hawke’s Bay Art and Events Centre – formerly known as Hastings Opera House. It recently won the Heritage Award from the NZ Institute of Architects. A great selection of shows and entertainment is planned for the summer.

If it is wide open spaces you hanker for, three of our districts parks have been awarded prestigious International Green Flag awards:

CORNWALL PARK, our oldest park with wonderful historic trees, gardens, water features, new playground, event space and cricket grounds. Free afternoon concerts are a big draw card.

FLAXMERE PARK is a much-used community facility surrounded by mature trees. There are sports fields, a walking and cycling track (with exercise equipment!), a great playground and community picnic area with free barbecue provision. Entertainment is often hosted here.

HAVELOCK NORTH VILLAGE GREEN was updated in 2014 to provide a vibrant community asset with an innovative water-play feature in the playground, Skate Park, performance areas and the old cricket pavilion moved to become a community facility. A true “Village Green”.

There are a huge number of other parks and reserves to visit in the Hastings District, which are very much community supported and testament to our mild climate, wonderful soils and civic pride. Do enjoy them.

Also of note, if you need a deep breath of country air, big skies and amazing 360 degree views, head out on State Highway 50, home of the famous Gimblett Gravels Wine Growing Region to Roy’s Hill Reserve.

The site of a former landfill it was capped and the Landmarks Trust helped plant hundreds of now-mature native trees and shrubs. Walk to the top for views of the Ranges back to Te Mata Peak. Picnic tables are available.


Architecture, History and Landscape


The Landmarks Executive committee were among over 200 community members who responded to the call for submissions from the Hastings District Council regarding the Draft Reserve Management Plan for the highly regarded Keirunga Gardens. On the 28 October 2020 Landmarks Executive Members also attended the public talk and tour of the gardens and heritage buildings. The attendees were happy to note that the character of the landscape, the heritage features and rich cultural influences will continue to be recognised, protected and preserved for future generations.

In the short term there will be strong preservation of the historic features of the homestead cottage/s, gardens and history. Improvements to path access, seating and information signage to link into a more coherent directional plan that will include the Lower Tanner Street area which will offer improved parking. The much valued children’s playground, model railway and surroundings will include the provision of new toilet facilities with safe access.

The participants at the creative Hub (with its high use by a variety of artistic groups) will receive additional incentives to further their ambitions/interests with the opportunity to work collaboratively with Council for the creation of art installations.



Lily Baker QSM, a founding member of the Landmarks Trust, was honoured by Landmarks Trust members, Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst, family and friends when a plaque was laid on 26 August 2020. It lies beneath a Liriodendron (Tulip Tree) planted for Lily in the grounds of the Hawke’s Bay Knowledge Bank, Stoneycroft in Omahu Road.

Lily gave a selfless life of remarkable service, with a formidable fund of knowledge that was well applied to Landmarks, things historical and countless others. She died in 2016 and the Trust acknowledges her as an important part of our history. Find her tree and plaque in front of the main Stoneycroft gates, just up the rise.


The hugely popular Landmarks History talks concluded this year on 10 November with Alwyn Corban giving a fascinating history of the Corban family – from Lebanon to its pioneering involvement in the early New Zealand wine industry and Alwyn’s story of the development of the family’s Ngatarawa Winery and Hawke’s Bay wine industry. Alwyn was recently inducted into the Hawke’s Bay Wine Grower’s Hall of Fame and has been a leader and ambassador for Hawke’s Bay and New Zealand wine. He is also a Hastings District Councillor.

Talks will resume on 9 February 2021 and each second Tuesday of the month thereafter, 5.30pm, upstairs in the Hastings Library. Look out for notices in the Library foyer and the “My Hastings” publication. Email notifications will be sent to subscribed (free) History Talk members. Gold coin entry and a most interesting hour-long experience, guaranteed!

All History Talks are recorded and are available for the community to listen to via the Knowledge Bank website.

A big thank you to Carla, Veronica and Jim at the Hastings Library for their much valued assistance with Landmarks History Talks events.


Hastings Landmarks Trust |



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December 2020

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