Local News

Harry Turbott 1930-2016

0 Comments 06 March 2016

Karekare mourns  Harry Turbott

Harry TorbottFuneral details:  Davis Funerals. 150 Central Park Drive, Henderson.  Thursday March 10th 10:30am

Harry Turbott was a great New Zealander and a pioneer landscape architect.

Harry began working life as an office boy for the architectural practice of Gummer and Ford before embarking on a four-year architecture degree at Auckland University.

After he graduated in 1953 Harry and wife Nan travelled to Boston and Harvard on a Fulbright scholarship where Harry completed

A Masters in Landscape Architecture under Hideo Sasaki.  He was first New Zealander to gain a tertiary degree in landscape architecture.

After travelling  extensively Harry returned to New Zealand in 1960, where he began a career as a landscape architect in a time where there none. He began teaching at Auckland’s School of Architecture and town planning   By himself Harry built a family home at Karekare on Auckland’s West Coast for his family, which grew to include son Chris and Daughter Sarah.

Harry teamed up with one of his former students Brian Halstead in the late sixties in a partnership that was to last until the early Eighties.  Mostly though Harry was alone in Auckland and his disdain for  professional institutes meant that he was largely isolated. Harry pioneered the first multi disciplinary environmental studies of large sites such as the 2000 acre Mimiwhangata which became a national coastal and marine Reserve,

In the Cook Islands for six years he donated his time and took up teams of students to  rebuild the chiefly Para-Tane palace  and restore Mataenga church.  Perhaps one of his greatest works was the Arataki visitors centre in the Waitakeres  for the Kawerau O Maki people completed in 1992 , with featured its spiraling walkways through the kauri trees to gain entry to a non conventional building.

Harry continued working until ill-health forced him to retire.  He was a generous, down to earth and compassionate man who dedicated his life to improving our World We now are all the better for his contribution. Harry Turbott, architect and landscape architect  was certainly the real deal. Harry saw Karekare and the West Coast as very special  places. and spoke on many submissions against bad practice and careless building codes. A  battler often with locals the ARC the Karekare Surf Club he was fearless in his belief that we are all responsible for our actions.He will greatly missed by all who knew him.

Garth Falconer and Bob Harvey

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