[March 12, 1914 – New Zealand Herald] At the beginning of this year the Mayor of Mount Albert (Mr. M. J. Coyle) entered into negotiations with the owners of Gribble’s estate, with a view to the acquisition of that part of the estate known as Cabbage Tree Swamp, as a park for the district. The area comprises 31 acres, and is a natural beauty spot, which, in the Mayor’s opinion, would make a splendid park, especially as the surrounding area in a few years’ time would become thickly populated.
Mr. Coyle now states that he feels that the negotiations must fall through, for the present, at any rate, as the owners were asking what he considered to be a prohibitive price. He had taken the members of the Borough Council into his confidence, and the latter were prepared to consider the purchase of the area for £5000.
When in Wellington upon other business connected with the Borough Council, Mr. Coyle states that he and Mr. J. Bollard, M.P., brought before the Prime Minister the proposed purchase of the area, with a view to obtaining a subsidy towards the purchase money. The Government then put £500 on the Supplementary Estimates for the purpose. When, however, the owners of the estate subsequently submitted their price, Mayor and the council considered it was prohibitive.
Mr. Coyle said he was hopeful that some of the leading people of the district would come forward to assist in the purchase of the estate. In his opinion there was not the slightest doubt that the area was one of the beauty spots of the district, and much more suitable for a park than for residential purposes.
PARK FOR MT. ALBERT.
ACCEPTED BY COUNCIL,
[November 16, 1927 – Auckland Star] An offer of an area of fourteen acres for a park, situated at Cabbage Tree Swamp, which will involve the local body in an outlay of £3200, was approved by the Mount Albert Borough Council last evening. The Mayor (Mr. L. E. Rhodes), said that the offer was made by the trustees of the estate of the late Mr. James Gribble, and on behalf of Mr. S. L. Hirst. The gifts included areas of 6 and a half acres with four acres adjoining, and the council would be asked to acquire adjoining land at a cost of £3200, in order to make the area for a proposed park complete.
The Mayor said that the proposition was a very fine one, and he was sure that the ratepayers would not let it slip through their fingers. The people had been crying out for playing areas, and now was a wonderful opportunity to get one in the heart of the borough sufficiently far away from the Morningside Reserve. A good portion of the proposed park had in the past been susceptible to flooding, but now the No. 1 sewer was being run right through the property, and flooding would be a thing of the past.
Proceeding, the Mayor said that it was suggested that the park should have access from Edendale Road and Kenneth Avenue. It could also be approached from Thames Avenue and Arawa Avenue on the other frontages. There was native bush on a portion of the property, and that was a big asset. It was acquired 74 years ago, and originally consisted of 74 acres. There had always been free access, and many old Aucklanders knew the locality. Recently the members of the Gribble family decided to set apart an area for a park. About 40 years ago Mr. S. L. Hirst secured thirty acres of the property. Mr. Langley said that the native bush would be an acquisition, and the opportunity of securing the area should not be allowed to pass. It was the biggest “snip” that had ever been offered to the council.
Mr. W. G. Russell said that a very fine spirit had been shown. The Mayor said that he was going to suggest that they should call for competitive designs to lay out the area, and then formulate a loan proposal which would include the Morningside Reserve and the Mount Albert Domain. They could then go to the ratepayers for a combined loan. He did not think that the ratepayers would turn the loan down, as there was such a big demand for more playing areas. Mr. Russell suggested that some of the wealthy residents of Mount Albert might club together to finance the proposal.
On the motion of the Mayor, it was unanimously decided to thank the donors for the offer made, and to accept it subject to certain minor adjustments. In accordance with a wish expressed it was decided to name the area GribbleHirst Park.