From the Resene News – issue 1/2011
Tunnel life - JF Kennedy Park tunnels
JF Kennedy Park sitting atop a hill next to Castor Bay played host to the 63rd Battery 9th Heavy (coastal) Regiment RNZ Artillery and the accompanying Battery Observation Post and barracks during the second world war as protection against the threat of invasion.
Kennedy Park was camouflaged as a state housing area, with each gunpit disguised to look like a house with a roof, chimney and painted on windows. The headquarters was constructed to look like a modern beach home, including a false wood and tile roof to hide the concrete roof/bunker beneath.
These days, what was the parade ground is now a petanque court and children clamber over the empty gunpits. Below Kennedy Park, halfway down the cliff, are the concrete remains of two searchlight emplacements while the army’s original wooden staircase has now been replaced with a brand new one.
Today the tunnels have a new lease of life. Thanks to the Kennedy Park Installations Preservation Trust, the tunnels are now open to the public on the second Sunday of each month. Quite some effort has been expended to get them to a state that they can be walked through, with the tunnels originally covered in graffiti upon graffiti and a haven for spiders over the years of disuse.
To help clean them up, Resene donated many buckets full of Resene PaintWise EchoPaint – grey 100% recycled paint waterborne paint from the Resene PaintWise recycling service. This was applied by volunteers using brushes and rollers to bring the tunnels back to life as a local attraction.
Organiser: John Crews
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