Newspaper Article 2005 – Renowned Pukeiti Park creator dies


Renowned Pukeiti Park creator dies


The man responsible for creating Taranaki’s famous Pukeiti Park and redeveloping New Plymouth’s Pukekura Park has died in Taradale.

John Goodwin, who was known as Jack, died on November 8, aged 93.

Mr Goodwin wanted to be a teacher but Teachers’ College was closed during the Depression of the 1930s. Instead he set off for Central Otago on his bicycle and worked gold prospecting, on orchards, irrigating and then as a wool classer in South Canterbury. He moved to Christchurch for a job as a salesman for Kowhai Nursery where he met Maude Cuthbertson and married her in 1940. While he was in Blenheim in the Home Guard during World War 2 he completed his Diploma in Horticulture.

The family, which grew to include four children, moved to a job at the then Massey College in 1945 as a horticulture lecturer and superintendent of grounds.

In 1949 he began his life’s big work in New Plymouth’s Pukekura Park. The park had been neglected during the war and Mr Goodwin set about restoring it.

During his time Mr Goodwin developed the Bowl of Brooklands, the hatchery lawn, the Brooklands Zoo and children’s playground.

During the 1950s Mr Goodwin was among the group which created the famous Pukeiti rhododendron park, 17km from New Plymouth. In 1996 he and Mrs Goodwin moved to Hawke’s Bay to be nearer their daughters. In 2003 he was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to horticulture.

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Newspaper article

Date published

25 November 2005


Hawke’s Bay Today


Published with permission of Hawke's Bay Today


  • Maude Cuthbertson
  • John (Jack) Goodwin

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