This article is about the Dunedin Town Belt. For the park in Hamilton, New Zealand, see Hamilton Town Belt. For the green space in Wellington, New Zealand, see Wellington town belt.
The Town Belt is a green belt which surrounds the centre of the New Zealand city of Dunedin. Covering a total of over 200 hectares (490 acres), it extends around three sides of the city's centre at a distance from it of some 1-3 km (1-2 mi) in a broad 7 km (4 mi) crescent from the Oval at Kensington in the south through the suburbs of Mornington, City Rise, Belleknowes, Roslyn, Maori Hill, Prospect Park, Glenleith, Woodhaugh, The Gardens and Dunedin North and the slopes of Signal Hill. The fourth side of the central city is bounded by the Otago Harbour.
One of the world's oldest green belts, the Town Belt was planned in Scotland at the time of the advent of the Otago settlement in 1848. Residential areas outside the belt became separate boroughs, and were not amalgamated with Dunedin until much later. The town belt now forms a break between the city's inner and outer suburbs. The belt was originally a combination of native bush and scrubland, but is now largely replanted forest and open parkland. Many species of plant can be found in the belt, including tree fuchsia, lemonwood, lancewood, manuka, and broadleaf, and the forested area is home to many species of birds, including some uncommon and endangered species such as the kereru, eastern rosella, bellbird, tomtit, tui, rifleman, morepork, and shining cuckoo, and kotare.
A long, narrow road, Queens Drive, winds along much of the length of the belt and provides easy access to it for Dunedinites. Queens Drive is linked to many of the city's main streets, including Stuart Street and High Street. Numerous walkways lead through the bush and parks, and the belt is a popular recreation area for Dunedinites.
The Town Belt includes many open areas and parks, including the Kensington Oval, Dunedin Southern Cemetery, Montecillo Ground, Unity Park, Mornington Ground, Jubilee Park, Belleknowes Golf Course, Robin Hood Park, Littlebourne Ground, Prospect Park, Woodhaugh Gardens, the North Ground, Dunedin Botanic Gardens, Dunedin Northern Cemetery, Logan Park, and the University Oval.
Notable buildings and structures in the belt include Moana Pool, Olveston, Otago Boys' High School, and the Beverly-Begg Observatory.
- ^Herd, J. and Griffiths, G.J. (1980) Discovering Dunedin. Dunedin: John McIndoe. ISBN 0-86868-030-3, p. 116.
Wellington town belt and Outer green belt is a pair of strips of tree-filled wilderness spaces near and around central Wellington, New Zealand's capital city. The inner strip, the town belt, is an elongated U-shape. It was set aside by the city's founders in 1840. It is now about two-thirds of its original area. Portions have been used for purposes like Wellington's Public Hospital and Wellington Botanic Garden.
New Zealand Company
At the time of European settlement of Wellington immigrants came from countries with overcrowded cities and it was seen to be important that all citizens should have access to green spaces. The New Zealand Company instructed its surveyor to include "a broad belt of land, which you will declare that the Company intends to be public property, on condition that no buildings ever be erected upon it". The initial space set aside covered 625 hectares but by the year 2000 it had fallen to 425 hectares. It is owned by Wellington City Council.
The strip runs from Mount Victoria south to Mount Albert, which is between Berhampore and Island Bay, and then north to Te Ahumairangi Hill or Tinakori Hill.
Outer green belt
The outer strip of some 5,000 hectares includes some private land. It was first proposed in 1976 to protect the skyline, wildlife and remaining native forest. Some sites included are:
- ^City Parks and green spaces, Te Ara the Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, Quoted in Walter Cook, ‘Wellington’s town belt – a people’s park and a heritage for everyone. The 1991 Ian Galloway Memorial Lecture.’ Horticulture in New Zealand 2, no. 2 (Winter 1991), p.15. Te Ara the Encyclopaedia of New Zealand accessed 17 February 2016
- ^City Parks and green spaces, Te Ara the Encyclopaedia of New Zealand accessed 17 February 2016