The Te Awamutu community has spoken. The Memorial Park pond may shrink in order to improve water quality.
Waipā District Council has been consulting the community about its Memorial Park draft plan since May last year. With the help of 517 submissions, the council has now updated the plan.
Low rainfall, stream bank erosion and poor water quality have plagued the park in recent years, drawing criticism from the community for a perceived lack of maintenance of the ageing assets.
Council's reserves planner Tofeeq Ahmed said the community's feedback has been distinct.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
"Our community gave us a very clear idea of what they would like to see happen, which included retaining and restoring all memorial features, in particular the bridge crossing the Mangaohoi Stream, keeping vehicle access and car parking within the park and seeing an improved maintenance routine."
Also, the community is interested in the restoration of the Mangaohoi and Mangapiko streams and puna.
"They want to create a gathering place at the stream confluence, new educational and wayfinding signage and more accessible pathways for walkers and cyclists," says Ahmed.
Following the community feedback, staff have worked with elected members and representatives from the community board to workshop options to achieve a balance between mana whenua aspirations and community desires.
Community services manager Sally Sheedy says: "I think the new concept to retain one-third of the pond and create wetlands between the pond and the Mangaohoi Stream will achieve mana whenua and council aspirations to improve water quality while also leaving a lovely space for people to enjoy."
Other changes to the initial plan include retaining one-way vehicle access through the park with an adjacent cycleway, keeping the Mutu St gateway entrance, replacing the existing ageing playground with a standard playground and developing a new māra hūpara play trail on the other side of the Mangaohoi Stream.
The draft concept plan will now be presented to council's Strategic Planning & Policy Committee meeting in April.