Before European settlement, Linklater Reserve was covered by forestry and belonged to Rangitāne o Manawatū.
Linklater Reserve was part of 101,000 hectares sold to the Crown in 1864 as part of the Te Ahu a Tūranga block.
Rangitāne ancestor Whātonga is represented in the carved pou looking to Te Āpiti (the Gorge) and the awa (river) from the brow of the hill.
In 1902, the Gray family acquired the land and cleared it for farming, becoming one of the first milk suppliers to the Glaxo Factory in Bunnythorpe. The family later took a shovel of soil from Linklater Reserve to Libya to place on the grave of George Gray, who died in the North Africa campaign during World War II in 1942.
Linklater Reserve is named after the Linklater family, who bought the land from a daughter of the Gray family. The family has been extensively involved in Palmerston North and Manawatū for more than a century. Notable family members include:
- Joseph Linklater, MP for Manawatū from 1922 to 1935
- Jack Linklater, Pohangina County Council + Palmerston North Hospital Board
- Eric Linklater, Manawatū District Council from 1998 to 2004
- Bob Linklater, Manawatū Ōroua Electric Power Board
- Don Linklater, Chairman of Manawatū-Wanganui Catchment Board + Horizons Regional Council from 1989 until his death in 2000
- Ross Linklater, Palmerston North City Councillor from 2007 to 2016
Palmerston North City Council purchased the land for Linklater Reserve from Ross and Marilyn Linklater in 1995.
In 2010, we sold 4.77ha to pay for the development of the reserve near Kelvin Grove Road.
The reserve draws on its rural history and a theme was developed to make it Palmy’s country park.
In addition to great play and walking opportunities, key features of the reserve include:
- 20.3 hectares - making it one of the largest single site parks in Palmy.
- Below the Palmerston North Airport landing/take-off zone. The rear of the park is a great place for plane spotting as planes fly low over the reserve.
- Grassland in the middle of the reserve is harvested for hay or balage. This provides a small income, reduces mowing costs and changes the feel of the park depending on the time of year. You might see hay bales!
The most important feature of this reserve is its community support, from championing its development to volunteer planting days and picking up litter. Thanks must go to Fitzherbert Lions for their support in planting and for the swing bridge, and to the Kelvin Grove Community Association for its help with the flying fox.
We are lucky to have generous volunteers and dog lovers who take this park under their wing. You have spent years picking up rubbish, keeping doggy bag dispensers full, reporting maintenance issues and being the guardians of this beloved park. We thank you!