Cornwall Park 100-year Masterplan Cornwall Park 100-year Masterplan Cornwall Park 100-year Masterplan

Cornwall Park 100-year Masterplan

A remarkable opportunity to think on a vast time scale

Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects (NBW) and  Boffa Miskell were hired to envision the development of Cornwall Park in Auckland, New Zealand over the next century, continuing the legacy of long-term planning and visionary thinking established by the park’s founder, Sir John Logan Campbell, who sought to ensure a park that provides a world-class public space for recreation and enjoyment for its citizens.

The 425-acre Cornwall Park is a jewel and beloved landscape in Auckland – New Zealand’s largest and most diverse city. Nearly half of Auckland’s population comes from overseas, with over 180 ethnicities represented. Gifted to the people of New Zealand by Sir John in 1903, the park has been surrounded by a landscape transformed over the last century from farmland to residential neighborhoods. The park has become a refuge for city residents as well as a unique ecological resource in the heart of the city. Sir John envisioned Cornwall Park as a public landscape to serve a rapidly growing populace, a vision that the master plan embraces and reinvigorates.

Cornwall Park is set at the base of Maungakiekie, the most extensive former Pa in the city. The Māori were the first human inhabitants of the landscape beginning a pattern of humans shaping the landscape and ecology. Within the park, visitors can experience geologic formations, Māori earth works, remnants of Sir John’s agricultural endeavors, active pasture land, open lawns, an extensive arboretum and incredible views over Auckland and the surrounding harbours.

Visitor surveys have shown an appreciation for the activities and opportunities at Cornwall Park for the connection provided with nature and farming, family celebrations, and quiet contemplation, as well as a frustration with limited accessibility, inadequate facilities and vehicular traffic congesting the park’s core spaces.

The master plan illustrates how to build on the park’s distinctive characteristics and bring amenities, spaces and experience in line with a 21st century public park that serves a diverse and growing populace. It proposes that the next era of the park be characterised by an exemplary pedestrian experience, expanding the area and connectivity of park land by relocating automobile parking away from the core to the perimeter. This provides the opportunity to redesign the path network for greater pedestrian accessibility, connectivity and enjoyment while creating new spaces for gathering, sports and events. Existing park spaces are integrated and adapted within this updated framework, with suggestions for improvements to facilities, planting and programming.

The master plan has been guided by a set of principles developed in collaboration with the Cornwall Park Trustees and staff, and a diverse consultant team including members of the Māori leadership, and local experts in transportation planning, ecology, archaeology, history, engineering and user services.

Our role

Masterplanning, ecology

The facts

ClientCornwall Park Trust Board
Project teamRachel de Lambert
Worked with

Nelson Byrd Woltz

Cornwall Park Trust Board and personnel



Clough and Associates

DLA Phillips Fox

Harrison Grierson,

Tamaki Collective

Auckland Council

Project date2013 - 2014
AwardsCategory Winner | Strategic Landscape Planning & Environmental Studies
NZILA Resene Pride of Place Landscape Architecture Awards