History of 136 Woburn Road

History of the property at 136 Woburn Road

The property has had wonderful gardens since 1840, when it was part of the large farm owned by Alfred Ludlam. In 1877 the property was purchased by James McNab, who opened the garden to the public. Day trippers would travel from Wellington to enjoy the park like surroundings, play tennis, have tea in the summer houses or play croquet or bowls on the greens.

In 1901 the new owners renamed the extensive property ‘Bellevue’. The house was turned into a licensed hotel with a regular horse and trap run to bring people from the railway station.

In 1906 the property was subdivided extensively and in 1922 George Cooper purchased three acres, subsequently building the original house on the hospice property in 1927 at the cost of ₤5,065. The Cooper family owned the property until 1940 when, following several changes of ownership, it was purchased by the Carmelites in 1951 as a monastery. In 1953, ownership was taken over by Archbishop McKeefry for the Cenacle Sisters as a retreat house and novitiate.

Te Omanga Hospice Trustees purchased the property in 1991 following a major fundraising campaign within the community. The Inpatient Unit was a new addition at the time and extensive renovations were undertaken.

Following the earthquakes in Christchurch in September 2010 and February 2011, like most buildings, the hospice was inspected for potential earthquake risk and was given until 2023 to either bring the current building up to approved earthquake standards, or rebuild. Te Omanga began a major Capital Campaign to enlist the support of the community for both financial and in kind assistance. The main focus was to ensure the safety of patients and their families, staff and visitors whilst continuing to deliver the best possible palliative care service to the Hutt Valley community.

Sadly the old building came down towards the end of 2017. While the rebuild of a new purpose-built hospice was underway, Te Omanga moved temporarily to 38 Britannia Street in Petone. In April 2019, Te Omanga moved back home to 136 Woburn Road.