New play opportunities are coming to Marton with the redevelopment of the Memorial Park playground.

The Marton Development Group, established by Lucy Skou and Brenna O'Neill and 13 members created the project alongside Athol Sanson from the Rangitikei District Council in September 2017.

With both women having a background in nursing and education and six children under the age of 8 between them, they knew the benefits of getting their children outside and engaging them in play.

They found the existing playgrounds in Marton were not catering to families' needs and forcing them to go elsewhere.


"I have the luxury of driving my children to Whanganui or Palmerston North but other people don't always have that luxury and they are the ones really missing out," says Skou.

Skou says the need for social and physical play is massive in Marton.

She says the new playground will be inclusive so that all age levels and those with disabilities can be involved.

"It will have a mix of modern equipment and also natural play equipment so those rural kids who want to come and have a go on a swing can and those who live in town that want to jump around on rocks, can," she says.

MDG have enlisted Boffa Miskell, a landscape architecture company who won the "recreation Aotearoa outstanding park" award last year for Anderson Park in Hastings, to design the new playground.

Skou is hoping for a very high standard design and the possibility to put Marton back on the destination map.

"We want this to help boost our town's economy by bringing in people from the big cities and that way they can go and have a coffee at a local cafe or look around the shops," she says.

So far the group have raised $335,000 towards the project through two grants and a private donation from a local business.


They aim to raise around $700,000 by the end of 2020.

O'Neill says so far they have received a wide range of support from the Rangitikei District Council, local community groups and local businesses such as Farmlands and Gallagher.

Until May 31, Gallagher will be donating 10 per cent of sales from any Gallagher products purchased from Marton Farmlands towards the project.

O'Neill says further funds will be raised through fundraising initiatives, grants and sponsorship.