Wellington City Libraries

Te Matapihi Ki Te Ao Nui

What will I find on this page?

Wondering about the local history of Brooklyn? On this page we aim to collect relevant library resources and interesting local history websites about Brooklyn, as well as highlight notable persons and organisations long established in Brooklyn that have a strong community link.


Brooklyn was established in 1852 by John Fitchett senior as a dairy farm, and given the name 'Fitchett'. In 1888 Brooklyn (previously known as Goathurst Farm) was combined with Fitchett to make today's suburb of Brooklyn. In 1906, the introduction of an electric tramway through the town belt by Central Park (today's Brooklyn Road) aided the rapid development of Brooklyn.

Features Historical & Current

Central Park

Central Park was established in 1913 on Town Belt land. The wrought iron gates at the entrance to the park were presented in 1920 by the then Mayor, John P Luke. During 1942-1944, Central Park was covered in tents housing US military troops.

Wind turbine

The wind turbine was installed in March 1993 as a test for wind-generated power. Power generated by the turbine is injected into the local network for general distribution in Wellington.

Polhill gun emplacement

Polhill anti-aircraft gun batteries were built in 1942 for the capital's defence against invasion by the Japanese in WWII. The Brooklyn battery is within the Panorama Heights subdivision and the land it sits on has been allocated as reserve land. When it was built, Polhill had accommodation for 109 personnel.

Sutch House

Sutch House was designed by Ernst Plischke and built between 1953-56. The house is one of New Zealand's iconic residences with its modernist design.

Notable persons

(Please note, this list does not include people who are still alive.)

John Fitchett

John Fitchett arrived in Wellington in 1842 on the ship London and died in 1875. In 1899 his son A.B. Fitchett and R.B Todman decided to subdivide his land. A.B Fitchett imported the first milk separator in to New Zealand.

John Henry Heaton

John Henry Heaton arrived in New Zealand in 1856, aboard the Lord Ashley. Worked as a customs and shipping agent and was a member of the harbour board. He was elected Mayor of Melrose borough, which was incorporated in 1888.

Ernst Plischke, (1903-1992)

Architect Ernst Plischke was born in Vienna and emigrated to New Zealand with his Jewish wife in 1939, to escape Hiltler's Nazism. We have several books on his works

Jane Thomson, (1858-1944)

Jane Thomson was a mountaineer.

William Sutch, (1907-1975)

William Sutch was a teacher, economist, writer and diplomat.

More biographies?

For more notable New Zealanders, visit The Dictionary of New Zealand Biography.

Books & other items

Heritage Links (Local History)