Old Kindy Houses Tunnel Plant


Part of the old Campbells kindergarten being restored as part of the Victoria Park tunnel project will house the standby electrical and communications systems for the neighbouring tunnel.

The restoration of the 100 year old building has begun and it’ll be early next year before its completed.

The rest of the building will be returned to Auckland’s new council, which will decide how it will be used.

The restoration will return the building to its original appearance and interior layout at no cost to Auckland’s ratepayers.

NZTA’s Tommy Parker says it’s a win-win for Aucklanders. The NZTA gets a plant room right next to the tunnel and the community retains an important part of its history that’s fit to be used for another 100 years.

The “Father” of Auckland, Sir John Logan Campbell, opened the kindergarten named after him on 10 October, 1910. It was New Zealand’s first purpose built kindergarten, established by the Auckland Kindergarten Association to serve Freemans Bay, then one of the city’s poorest suburbs.

The association provided free kindergarten education for what it called, in the language of the day, ‘the slum population of Auckland’, and the children of the ‘idle and the thriftless.’

The Campbell Free Kindergarten had a roll of 60 within months, and provided free pre-school education until the 1950s. The building was then used as the clubrooms for the Grafton Cricket Club. It has been unused for the past 20 years.

“When our makeover is complete,” says Mr Parker, “there is no doubt the restored building will reflect the way the community has changed and the next 100 years of its life is likely to be very different from the last.”




  1. rtc says:

    It’s hardly free we’re all paying toward the cost of this new tunnel through petrol taxes which are passed on by trucking companies.

  2. karl says:

    “and the children of the ‘idle and the thriftless.’”

    Bashing the poor was apparently the in thing to do then, just as beneficiary-bashing is today!


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