After fundraising $65,000, and working for a decade, a Napier community has appealed to the city council to expand, and protect their local park for future generations.

On behalf of the Pirimai Residents Association, resident Richard Catley asked the Napier City Council to buy Ministry of Education land - the former site of Pirimai school - for a public park.

This land sits next to a council reserve off Allen Berry Ave. The PRA did not know how much it would cost, but if would bring the combined green area to 2.2ha.

"Although this land may not currently be for sale, the NCC has the first right of refusal as former owners, and we believe the time is right for council to make this commitment to the people of Napier," Mr Catley said.


There were concerns the park could be sold for a housing development, and be "lost forever".

He told the council Pirimai had an increasing number of young families, who were among those already using the park for recreational activities. It could also engage youth, and help reduce anti-social behaviour.

If purchased, long-term fundraising ideas included a community garden, fitness trail, picnic area, and repairing its existing cricket pitch - a leftover from Pirimai school.

The request for council to add intent to purchase the park into the Long-term Plan 2018-2028 comes after 10 years of work from the PRA.

They said they had a "proven track record" of making the community's wishes a reality - having raised $31,000 after an unsuccessful 2008 appeal for the reserve to be extended, and playground equipment installed.

Another $34,000 was later fundraised for a junior playground. The council have since planted trees, installed a seat, barbecue table, and activity wall at the reserve.

The community support showed the "huge" demand for the park, and "as the existing playground has proven, build it and the people will come".

"After 10 years of lobbying, meetings, fundraising, petitions, and submissions we believe it is now time for council to put the wishes of the Pirimai community into action," he said.

Yesterday Napier Mayor Bill Dalton said the request would "go into the mix" to be considered in the LTP process.