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Cherry farm Psychiatric Hospital Hawksbury

Hawksbury also known as "Cherry Farm" (and sometimes erroneously as "Evansdale") is a small residential and industrial area beside State Highway 1 between Dunedin and Waikouaiti.

Cherry Farm Hospital, a psychiatric hospital serving the Dunedin area opened here in 1952 and patients from Seacliff Mental Hospital at Seacliff were relocated here. Cherry Farm Hospital epitomised the village-asylum atmosphere in name and design, contrasting with the harsh conditions in the fortress-like Seacliff hospital.

When the hospital closed in 1992, some patients were transferred to Wakari Hospital in Dunedin while others were re-housed in the community as part of a mainstreaming policy.

One of the re-housing projects was the Hawksbury Community Living Trust which according to its website was "initially set up in 1992 to provide quality residential support for people with intellectual disabilities. The service opened its first home in Dunedin April 1992 and has since opened 10 further homes in Dunedin and Christchurch."

Hawksbury has a looped network of curving streets in a typical post-war "public works" plan. There were a number of small hospital residential buildings known as "villas", some have been converted and modernised as houses and many others have been demolished.

There are also shops, a post office, library and school, all of which are unused. The former hospital chapel is used regularly by a local Christian group.

Larger multi-storey office and accommodation buildings have been developed as low-cost rental housing.

A swimming pool, Moana Gow Pool, remaining from the hospital days, serves the surrounding areas of Waikouaiti, Karitane and Blueskin Bay. (This should not be confused with the olympic-sized pool in Dunedin with a similar name.)

Hawksbury's main business and attraction to passing traffic is the Evansdale Cheese factory and shop, which relocated here from Evansdale when it outgrew its old premises.

There is also a local Kyokushin Karate club that runs in Hawskbury Hall with members from the surrounding areas of Waikouaiti, Palmerston, Karitane and Macraes.


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