It has been a long, 11-year wait for Dunedin residents, but
they will be allowed the first glimpses of the completed
Chinese garden within two weeks.
The garden, at the end of Rattray St, will open to the public
at 2pm on June 10.
In 1997, Dunedin historian Dr Jim Ng announced plans for a
classical walled Chinese garden on the site near the Otago
The breakthrough came in May 2006, when Prime Minister Helen
Clark announced the Government would contribute $3.75 million
towards the garden from its Significant Community Based
Official work on the site began in January last year.
Chinese Gardens Trust design manager John Henderson said
"last-minute details" were being finished this week and the
remaining five Chinese artisans would leave the city
Contractors would complete an access road between the garden
and the Otago Settlers Museum, install gates, change bollards
around the garden and finish off some wiring.
Staff for the garden would be trained in the days before the
garden was opened.
There would be a blessing of the garden before its opening to
An official opening would be held in September, attended by
delegates from the Shanghai Municipal People's Government.
The garden hosted its first wedding on Saturday, when Dunedin
couple Emma Caffell (21) and Isaac Beadle (22) exchanged
their vows beside the goldfish-filled pond.
The couple had postponed their vows a month in order to get a
booking at the garden.
At a glance
• Location: On Dunedin City Council-owned land
at the harbour end of Rattray St, between the Otago Settlers
Museum and the main trunk railway line.
• Size:0.6 ha.
• Main Features: Pavilions, covered walkways,
observation tower, ponds, water rocks and plants replicating
an authentic 17th-century walled garden from the Ch'ing
• Designed by: Shanghai Museum, Shanghai
Construction and Decoration Company, Bruce Young.
• Built by: Foundations by Amalgamated
Builders, main construction work by artisans from from
Shanghai Construction and Decoration Company, and other
companies for landscape, planting.
• Cost: $6.5 million.
• Who is paying: New Zealand Government $3.75
million, Dunedin City Council
$1 million, Community Trust of Otago $1 million, fund-raising
by Chinese community $800,000.
• Ongoing operational and maintenance costs:
Dunedin City Council.
• Admission Charges: Adults $8, students $5,
season ticket $15.