Brooklyn is a vibrant suburb located just south of the Central Business District in Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city. It is named after the New York borough, and has many streets named after American presidents, plus its own Central Park.
Brooklyn’s shopping area is mainly on Cleveland Street, and includes a cinema, library, cafes, two medical centres, two bars, and various shops. Brooklyn has primary schools, parks, and of course the community centre. It can be reached on the number 7 and 8 buses, or a quick drive or vigorous walk up Brooklyn Hill from the central city. South of Brooklyn, Ohiro Road descends through a bush-clad valley to Owhiro Bay.
The 2006 census found that in Brooklyn:
- Two thirds of adults have a tertiary or trade qualification.
- Nearly 45% of adults work in a professional occupation; a further 15% are managers.
- Half of all households own their own home.
- 21% of adults walked or biked to work, compared to 17% of all Wellingtonians.
Brooklyn has a huge range of community groups, including sports clubs, environmental groups, children’s and youth groups, and church groups.
Central Park runs down Brooklyn Hill from the top of Brooklyn Road to the city, and is a popular route for people walking or jogging to work in the city. The park has an adventure playground with sections for older and younger children. On the edge of the park is the Renouf Tennis Centre, Wellington’s main tennis venue. During World War II, Central Park was a camp for American servicemen.
Tanera Park is across Ohiro Road from Brooklyn Park. It has facilities for sports including soccer and cricket, with changing rooms, and is also home to the Tanera Community Gardens. These were set aside by the City Council in 1991 for community organisations and low income households to grow their own vegetables. The Gardens are managed by the Mokai Kainga Trust (Trust website).
Elliot Park is in the west of Brooklyn, by Mitchell and Karepa Streets. It includes a children’s playground.
The wind turbine
The Brooklyn wind turbine is New Zealand’s oldest operating wind turbine. It was erected by the Electricity Corporation in 1993 as part of research into wind-power generation. It stands nearly 300 meters above sea level, and has become a Brooklyn icon, featured in ceramic tiles on the pavements of Cleveland Street. It is now owned by Meridian Energy.
Located on Ohiro Road just past the Brooklyn shops, the Penthouse was first opened as the Vogue Theatre in 1939. In the early 1950s it was turned into a studio and used to make television commercials. In 1975 it was purchased by Merv and Carol Kisby, who restored the building as a movie cinema and renamed it the Penthouse. It now features four screens and is still run by the Kisby family.
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