Work will begin this week to make Waitangi Regional Park a better community space.

Hawke's Bay Regional Council will begin work to create a raised, flat area to accommodate marquees and activities for events like Matariki.

The space will also be able to be used by families and groups when it is not reserved.

Team leader of open spaces, Russell Engelke said the council wants to make the space better.


"We've been blown away by how much interest the community has shown when it came to Matariki, and want to make this place even better for hosting events."

As part of Matakiri, the Ātea a Rangi Educational Trust taught 20 school groups about navigating by the stars, whakairo (carving and art), māra kai (traditional cultivated foods), traditional Māori games, rongoā Māori (medicinal use of plants), recycling and reducing plastic use.

Community groups and schools also planted native species in the surrounding wetlands.

"We're excited to be partnering with Ātea a Rangi Educational Trust to develop this space and support school groups and the community to use the space well into the future."

Soil will be bought in to start work on the area, right of the carpark as visitors drive in.

Future development will include more car parks, a new public toilet and relocation of the William Colenso memorial.