Looking into the park plan

With many questions and concerns coming up around Te Awamutu’s Memorial Park plan council have approved a revised plan, but what does the new plan contain? Blair Voorend takes a look.

The original draft plan proposed relocating the amphitheatre and historic relief wall panel to the open grass area by the Mangaohoi Stream.

After receiving the feedback and following discussions with mana whenua, staff recommend an alternative option to retain the amphitheatre and historic relief wall panel in their current location.

The original plan proposed removing the Peace Fountain due to water conservation measures and looked to replace it with a contemporary memorial feature designed in collaboration with Te Awamutu RSA respecting all recent wars.

But the RSA along with other respondents highlighted their desire to retain the fountain, which is now in the new plan along with improvements to better care for the fountain.

Following feedback received, staff are now recommending Mangahoe Lane be kept open to one-way vehicular access.

The new plan will retain the gateway, and create another eastern gateway where the Pioneer walkway connects to the park in collaboration with RSA and mana whenua.

It will also retain car parks in the centre of the reserve and develop a dedicated bike lane along Mangahoe Lane.

The pergola will also be kept, and a new pathway veering off from pergola will run through the fernery to connect to the playground/function space and the middle bridge.

The current playground assets are dated and in poor condition so in response to feedback received, the revised plan supports  the replacement of this playground with a more standard playground and the later development of a māra hūpara play trail along the Kaipaka Pa side of the Mangaohoi Stream.

The draft plan also proposed filling the pond area to create a puna restoration planting connected to the stream riparian planting, a pavilion and open lawn function space but did not recommend removal of the stone bridge.

The new plan for the pond and surrounding area will require the removal of the stone bridge as it’s been identified not accessible for all ages and ability. It will be replaced with an accessible walkway through that area.

The pond will be retained but the size reduced.

The plan also proposes that if the netball court is not leased in future for netball, the area of the club house and sport courts could be re- designed in collaboration with mana whenua and key stakeholders.

As an example, the club house can be repurposed for community gathering and the open space can be multi use for a Farmer’s Market.

The plan has been endorsed by council but cannot come into play until the council’s Long Term Plan is approved.

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