Memorial Park Draft Concept Plan
Te Whāriki Tuapapa Whakaaro - Foundation of Thought
Memorial Park is located between Mutu Street and Racecourse Road in the heart of Te Awamutu and features an array of memorials, play spaces, walkways and natural features. It has open spaces perfect for picnics and events, framed by a collection of mature trees, and with the Mangapiko and Mangaohoi Streams meandering through. It is within easy walking distance to the centre of Te Awamutu and is well-connected to other community facilities as part of the Pioneer Walkway.
Refreshing the concept plan for Memorial Park is our chance to create a long-term vision for the future and a legacy for Te Awamutu, together. Our mana whenua partners and representatives from the Te Awamutu Returned and Services Association have played an integral part in co-designing the draft concept plan with us. We’ve also received feedback and additional valuable information from the Te Awamutu Netball Association and the Te Awamutu Community Board that have helped to informed the Draft Concept Plan that we are proposing today.
Now it’s your turn to have your say and influence what Memorial Park will look like in the future.
Interactive Map and Draft Concept plan
Check out our interactive map to see what we are proposing. By clicking on the numbers, features and different colored areas you'll see what we would like to maintain, restore or change. You can also have a read through the Draft Concept Plan Memorial Park here.
Here’s an overview of what we’re proposing:
- Any new developments to acknowledge historical and cultural significance are co-designed by mana whenua and the RSA.
- Heritage features, such as the sunken cross, pergola and stone wall are restored and protected.
- A new educational and reflective gathering place is put in place at the Mangaohoi and Mangapiko Stream confluence
- A new playground is built, grounded in ecology and Māori traditions and history
- A new pavilion function space and a large open space for community gatherings and family celebrations to replace the pond area.
- A new contemporary memorial feature to commemorate our war heroes is designed and located together with the Te Awamutu RSA; removal of the existing defunct Peace Fountain.
- Amphitheatre and associated Historic Relief Sculpture Wall Panel is relocated to provide more space for community, educational and family events.
- The puna (springs) and fernery is restored.
- New planting to restore ecology and improve amenity
- Improved accessibility throughout the reserve and safety by:
- retaining/replacing the three Mangaohoi stream bridges
- a wide shared pathway between Mutu Street and Racecourse Road
- relocating the main entrance further into the reserve and creating a new Eastern Gateway.
- removing vehicle access through the reserve off Mutu Street and re-purposing as a pedestrian and cycle commuter route.
- Removing the existing gateways based on the reduced significance of the lane.
- New carpark entrance off Racecourse Road.
- retaining existing view shafts and establishing new ones through environmental planting and design to increase safety
- Retaining the current lease to Te Awamutu Netball Centre in the short to medium term and explore options to increase the use of this area in the off-season.
Frequently Asked Questions
Got a question about the draft Memorial Park Concept Plan? Check out our FAQs
Tell us what you think
We would love to hear your thoughts on what we are proposing. Once you’ve had a look at the plan, let us know what you think by filling out this survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Mrlpark before 5pm, Monday 13 July 2020.
You can also pop into one of our Council offices and pick up a copy of the survey.
Where to from here?
We’ll collate the community feedback for consideration into the final Memorial Park concept plan that will be presented back to Council later this year for adoption.
History of Memorial Park
The Memorial Park project was proposed in 1947 to honor those who fought and died in World War II and was opened by Prime Minister Sidney Holland in 1955. The reserve is adorned with several monuments and memorials, both for remembrance and ceremonial use such as the three bridges crossing the Mangaohoi Stream commemorating the New Zealand Army, the Royal New Zealand Air Force and the Royal New Zealand Navy.
Did you know that the name “Te Awamutu” refers to the end of where people could travel the river by vessel? Canoes could navigate from the Waipa River up the Mangapiko Stream as far as Te Awamutu to the confluence of the Mangaohoi Stream where Memorial Park is today.
The Mangapiko and Mangaohoi Streams are key natural features of Memorial Park and were prime sites for pā harakeke and pā rongoā (flax and medicinal plants). These were the resources for life in Kaipaka pā. Memorial Park is extremely significant to mana whenua, with a strong wāhine presence connecting to historical customary activities and their contribution to te ao tūroa (world of science).
The fundamental principle of Ngāti Apakura mana whenua for raising puhi wāhine (women of importance) was the underlying belief that women were favoured as offspring from the atua (celestial beings), which meant that they were tapu (under special rules and restrictions, prohibited). Any negativity expressed to them was breaking the tapu by offending the atua. Wāhine inherited their mana (power, prestige) through their whakapapa (genealogy) and so they were treated with aroha (loving care) and indulgence. Their specific role in the hapū (subtribe) was to retain mana, as an example, by restoring the balance of peace after war to answer the demands of justice. On many occasions throughout history puhi wāhine were gifted to rangatira (chief) who held spiritual power and authority. These relationships in its traditional sense ensured ongoing status, influence, dignity and respect for their descendants.