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Historical pipes preserved by park upgrade

Surprise find from North Shore's past

Published: 9 June 2021

Iron pipes that helped supply the North Shore with water more than 100 years ago have been rediscovered during works in Killarney Park in Takapuna and will be kept in place for the public to view.

The find occurred during site excavations to upgrade the lakeside pathway, seating and lookout by the historic PumpHouse at Lake Pupuke.

The pipes sit underneath the middle of the new terraced seating and viewing area. Rather than cover them over, the space has been redesigned to include clear coverings allowing people to see the pipes underneath, with the seating on either side. A sign featuring information on the history of the pipes will also be installed.

Devonport-Takapuna Local Board chair Ruth Jackson applauds the efforts to preserve a piece of the area’s past. 

“We did not know exactly where the old pipes were, so it was a wonderful surprise to discover them. I am delighted the project team found a way to keep make them a feature of the design,” says chair Ruth Jackson.

“Heritage assets like this, and the PumpHouse nearby, are features that define our local board area so it is important we continue to preserve, showcase and celebrate them.

“This is already a very popular spot for locals and these improvements have only added to it.”

The bulk of the works have now been complete, with the clear covering and sign expected to be in place in the next few weeks.   

Heritage water pipes preserved2
Historical pipes preserved by park upgrade


The following information will be featured on a sign to be installed at the location:

"These iron pipes once helped supply most of the North Shore’s water.

From 1894 until the 1940s, water was pumped from Pupuke Moana / Lake Pupuke using steam engines and later electric pumps. The pumping equipment was kept in the buildings now used by The PumpHouse Theatre.

From here, a network of pipes took the water to reservoirs and to local businesses and households.

As the North Shore population grew, the lake could not supply enough water. Lake levels dropped and the water became contaminated. By the 1930s, the water smelled “fishy” and in summer there were shortages.

The old pumps were turned off in the 1940s and water was piped to the North Shore from dams in the Waitākere Ranges."

Information provided by Dave Veart, respected author, archeologist, historian and current Devonport Museum and Historical Society committee member.

Read more: North Shore Heritage


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