Making a Place: Mangakino 1946-1962


  • Kate Linzey



Design Review, Hydroelectric power plants, Ministry of Works, New Zealand, Architectural Centre, Wellington, New Zealand


In between Whakamaru (1949-56) and Maraetai (1946-53) dams, on the Waikato River, sits Mangakino. Planned and built from c.1948 to 1951, by the Town Planning section of the Ministry of Works, the civic centre was to provide housing and services for the work force on the Maraetai scheme. The architectural design of these dams has previously been discussed as the work of émigré architect, Fredrick Neumann/Newman (Leach), and the town, as that of Ernst Plischke (Lloyd-Jenkins, Sarnitz). In 1949 the plan for Mangakino was published, alongside the plan for Upper Hutt, in the February-March edition of the Design Review. As two "rapidly growing towns," Upper Hutt and Mangakino are briefly reviewed in the context of two essays ("Who wants community centres?" and "Community Centres" by HCD Somerset), an outline of the curriculum of the new School of Architecture and Town Planning, run by the Wellington Architectural Centre, and notification of the 1948 Town Planning Amendment Act. As published in the Design Review, the plan of Mangakino includes a church in the south west, with the sporting facilities to the north and Rangatira Drive flanking a shopping strip on the east. The church sits in a field of grass, isolated and apparently serene. In the drawing published in the monograph Ernst Plischke, however, this building has been cropped off. Focusing on the case of Mangakino, this essay will review the discourse of town planning for secular and religious community in the late 1940s. This era, framed by the end of World War II and the deepening of the Cold War, is seen as the context for industrial action, a changing sense of nationalism, and small town New Zealand as the site of civil dispute.


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How to Cite

Linzey, K. (2008). Making a Place: Mangakino 1946-1962. Architectural History Aotearoa, 5, 65–71.