Park plan back and changed

The park’s arch could be a victim of the changes

The Memorial Park concept plan has a new look following public consultation.

Waipā district councillors looked at a plan this week which has major changes compared to the draft proposal which sparked outrage last year.

Council staff have recommended changes following a 517 submissions received during an extended 8 week consultation in the middle of last year.

Proposals to remove or move some features, including and the pond have been changed or removed.

Reserves planner Tofeeq Ahmed said the draft plan received support for some concepts, but drew strong opposition for others.

“Our community gave us a very clear idea of what they would like to see happen, which included retaining and restoring all memorial features, in particular the bridge crossing the Mangaohoi Stream, keeping vehicle access and carparking within the park and seeing an improved maintenance routine moving forward,” Ahmed said.

“They also expressed support for the restoration of the Mangaohoi and Mangapiko streams and puna, creation of a gathering place at the stream confluence, new educational and wayfinding signage and more accessible pathways for walkers and cyclists.”

Community services manager Sally Sheedy said the updated plan is a good balance.

“I think the new concept to retain one third of the pond and create wetlands between the pond and the Mangaohoi Stream will achieve manawhenua and Council aspirations to improve water quality while also leaving a lovely space for people to enjoy.”

“I expect the new and improved plan will certainly create a wonderful legacy for our community for years to come, one that we can all be proud of.”

Other changes to the initial plan include retaining one-way vehicle access through the park with an adjacent cycleway, keeping the Mutu Street gateway entrance, replacing the existing ageing playground with a standard playground and developing a new māra hūpara play trail on the other side of the Mangaohoi Stream.

Low rainfall, stream bank erosion and poor water quality have plagued the park in recent years, drawing criticism from the community for a perceived lack of maintenance of the ageing assets.

The draft concept plan will be presented to Council’s Strategic Planning and Policy Committee meeting in April.

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