Kerikeri residents are being asked for their views on a new plan for their town's most important green space.

The draft Kerikeri Domain Reserve Management Plan was prepared by Beca, a planning consulting company, after meetings with key user groups and a public survey.

The most controversial issue at the domain is the future of the pavilion, a two-storey building which housed the squash club, a youth drop-in centre and various sporting and cultural groups until it was damaged in an arson attack in 2016. It has been boarded up ever since.

The council has swung between rebuilding the pavilion and demolishing it.


The plan calls for its demolition and prompt replacement with a temporary building while a new multi-use facility is designed.

The new pavilion would be a ''memorable, iconic building'' with a diverse range of spaces for community groups. It should also be relocated to improve safety by opening up views of the domain from Cobham Rd.

The plan does not say how the new pavilion will be funded except that it would be included in the council's long-term plan.

The fire-damaged pavilion was insured but it is likely part of the payout will go to its former owner, Kerikeri Squash Club, allowing it to relocate to Kerikeri Sports Complex.

The draft plan also calls for more children's play areas, signs explaining the area's history, improved entrances, wider pathways, better lighting, and the inclusion of fruit trees in future plantings.

It says the domain should remain a green open space and suggests it could be the location for a new cenotaph. The Kerikeri RSA, which is home to the current cenotaph, is for sale.

David Clendon, chairman of community group Vision Kerikeri, was pleased the plan's authors had listened to what people had to say during the initial consultation.

''The most crucial thing its that it be retained as an open public space, which they have taken on board.''


The group wanted the pavilion replaced with a ''multi-purpose, community-hub type building'' and greater use of the domain through the provision of, for example, more shade and children's play areas.

Far North District Mayor John Carter said the council was required to have management plans for its reserves and to review them at least every 10 years.

"A plan provides certainty about a reserve's management and means facilities can be developed without the need for a council process, saving time and money."

The council had carried out a survey and formed a community reference group so the public had already had significant input into the plan, he said.

The 132 people who took part in last year's survey said relaxation and exercise were the most common uses of the Domain but they also saw it as a green space, social hub and venue for sports, festivals and concerts.

■ The draft plan can be viewed at or the Procter Library. Submissions close on March 15; councillors will adopt the plan in June after public hearings in April.