Countryside in the City

Bruce Ringer, Team Leader South Auckland Research Centre, has just had a new book published on the history of Totara Park.

One of Auckland's finest parks, this oasis of unspoiled native bush and farmland amidst suburbia was preserved by Manukau City Council's far-sighted decision to buy Charles Prevost’s Totara Park estate in 1966.

Countryside in the City tells the story of the land, the park and its people from earliest settlement to the present day. The cast of characters includes not only the expected mix of farmers, settlers, officials, sports people and environmentalists, but also a former Governor’s wife, a party of drunken militiamen, a sometime mayor of Auckland, a passel of doomed property speculators, the protagonists of New Zealand’s most notorious divorce scandal, and the internationally-known architect who designed New Zealand’s finest cowshed.

The author lives close by the park he cherishes.

Copies of Countryside in the City can be requested for loan from any branch of Auckland Libraries or can be obtained direct from the publisher, the Auckland Communities Foundation:

PO Box 200-114
Auckland 2156
Phone 09 277 8832

A 'koha' or donation of $20.00 per copy to the Auckland Communities Foundation's 'Natural History Fund' is suggested.

Author: Bruce Ringer


  1. It is indeed a beautiful place to wander and relax. Hopefully the book encourages even more visitors. Thanks Bruce.

  2. As someone who now enjoys this park on my bike - and I always like to look into the history of the areas I ride (like Hunua) - I am really looking forward to reading this. We are fortunate to have people like Bruce documenting these things.


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