Built in 1911, the waterwheel was donated to the city by Mrs H H Phillips of Te Rehunga in Dannevirke. First used on the farm to power a milk separator and butter churn, it was subsequently harnessed for shearing, sawing wood and pumping water.
In 1915, it was coupled to a dynamo, generating electricity for the Phillips' six-roomed house for the next 15 years - seven years before authorities provided power onto the property.
In 1967, Napier Round Table moved the wheel from its original wooden bearings and it was then renovated to install in the Sunken Garden.
Sunken Garden, Marine Parade
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