The Department of Housing Construction purchased this block of land from the Wesley College Trustees following the removal of the Wesleyan College building to Paerata (South Auckland) in the early 1920s.
When the first major state housing development scheme was planned for the area during the late 1930s and the 1940s, the land was earmarked by the Crown as a recreational reserve, and a decision was made to preserve the magnificent collection of large, mature trees on the site.
Control of the park area was formally vested in the council in 1951. At this time it was known as Parau Street Reserve, but in 1956 it was given the name Arthur Richards Memorial Park in honour of the former Roskill MP who played an important role in the land's conservation as a park. In 1984, at his daughter's request, an 'S' was inserted into the name to distinguish him from other family members with the same Christian names.