Construction on the new $5.2 million urban park for community events and general recreation at the Town Basin in Whangārei is due to start next month.
The park next to the Canopy Bridge will provide an important link between Whangārei's waterfront, the Huarahi o te Whai Hātea Loop Walkway, and the city centre.
Construction was due to start earlier this year but was pushed out by several factors including the Covid-19 outbreak and the need to align with the opening of the Hundertwasser Art Centre with Wairau Māori Art Gallery, which is being constructed on the adjoining site.
Additional car parks have been added around the city centre over the past few years in preparation for closure of the Canopy Bridge carpark.
Commuters are encouraged to use public transport, walking or cycling on the new shared paths, or other alternatives to all-day parking of private vehicles in the busy city centre.
Whangārei District Council infrastructure planning and capital works manager, Shelley Wharton, says the final design of the park was decided upon based on public feedback.
"The three features that were rated by the public as being the most desirable for the site were viewing terraces, a large lawn, and a water feature.
The design, she said, delivers on all these with an amphitheatre to hold community concerts, markets and events, a great lawn for people to gather and relax, terraced waterfront seating, trees for shade, and new public toilets.
A large kinetic sculpture and illuminated water jets for park users to splash around in during summer would also form part of the design.
Wharton said the land the park was to be built on has a rich Māori and European history and these cultural narratives were referenced in the new park's design.
The Hātea Loop, which borders the new park, will remain open during the park construction.
There will be a formal naming process later this year and the public will get the chance to give suggestions for naming the new park.