Memorial Park FAQs
The draft concept plan is still in draft stage and we are eager to hear your thoughts and feedback. We will incorporate community feedback before finalising the concept plan. Please fill in the survey here by 5pm, Monday 13 July 2020 and let us know what you think.
Work on the draft concept plan began before Covid-19 reached New Zealand. As Council’s finances have been affected, we’ll be looking very carefully at Council’s spending priorities.
If formally adopted, implementation of the concept plan will be considered during the upcoming 2021-2031 10-year plan process alongside other Council priorities. The draft concept plan is aspirational so we expect this to be implemented over a long term period. We will also be seeking external funding for some parts of the plan.
Due to its long-term aspirational vision, the plan, once formally adopted, will be considered in the upcoming 10 year plan for projects that are sought in the short or medium term. The full implementation of the final concept plan will depend on a number of aspects, including community priorities received during this feedback period, other Council priorities and funding, and the availability of external funding.
We developed the plan with mana whenua, representatives of the Te Awamutu Returned and Services Association and the Te Awamutu Netball Association as some of our key partners and stakeholders for Memorial Park. Our mana whenua partners and the representatives of the RSA have co-designed the draft concept plan with us and we’ve also received feedback and additional valuable information from the Te Awamutu Netball Association, the Te Awamutu Community Board and Council that have help informed the Draft Concept Plan that we present today for wider community feedback.
Acknowledge historical and cultural significance, honouring the different layers of European and Māori history of the reserve.
Restore the awa (streams) and native vegetation - enhancing habitat for our unique native wildlife and reconnecting the culturally highly significant puna (natural springs) back to the Mangaohoi Stream through the fernery.
- Protecting and restoring heritage feature - the sunken cross, the stone wall, the three Mangaohoi bridges and the gazebo.
- A new contemporary memorial feature to commemorate our war heroes from WWII and all subsequent wars is designed and located together with the Te Awamutu RSA; replacing the existing Peace Fountain.
- Relocating the amphitheatre and associated Historic Relief Sculpture Wall Panel closer to the Mangaohoi Stream making space for community events, family celebrations including weddings with the potential for an outdoor classroom.
- New Heritage Orchard – create an orchard of heirloom varieties to protect, develop and share New Zealand’s heritage food plants and acknowledge the historic Otawhao Mission Station.
- New Kohikohi Planting – area of indigenous plantings providing an opportunity for mana whenua to connect with stream and carry out cultural practices and activities associated with collecting kai.
- Rethinking the use of facilities – Retain Netball clubhouse and courts in the medium-term and explore options to increase use of courts and clubrooms in discussion with Te Awamutu Netball Centre.
- Removal of the existing degraded man-made pond and playground making space for:
- a new playground grounded in ecology and culture for children to build confidence, explore, socialise and engage with Māori traditions and history
- a new pavilion function space providing a flexible venue for community gatherings and family celebrations.
- a large and well-connected open space for gatherings and picnics.
- a restored puna (natural springs) that is reconnected back to the Mangaohoi Stream through the fernery.
- Improved accessibility, connectivity and safety by:
- retaining/replacing the three Mangaohoi Stream bridges.
- developing a new Eastern Gateway as the primary entrance at the centre of the reserve located on a wide shared pathway connecting Mutu Street and Racecourse Road with subsequent removal of Te Awamutu and District War Memorial park gateways due to reduced significance of the existing main entrance lane.
- Retain the existing western car park with improved entrance to Racecourse Road and Mangahoe Street to improve the safety of visitors and reduce congestion issues.
- Retain the Mangahoe Street entry to provide access to the carparks next to the clubrooms and potentially upgrade this carpark to accommodate more park.
- Remove vehicle access through the interior of the reserve off Mutu Street and repurpose as a shared pathway through the reserve to improve cyclist safety and create an off-road commuter route.
- Keep existing view shafts and establish new view shafts to improve safety.
A new educational and reflective gathering place where the Mangaohoi and Mangapiko Streams meet (confluence).
The original concept for Memorial Park was designed by H. G. Babbage and G. Gibbs. The draft concept plan proposes changes to this. Why is that?
The original concept plan designed by H.G. Baggage and G. Gills for Memorial Park was ideal for its time, however, at present day we are facing new challenges and we need a plan that will reflect these. The draft concept plan proposes ways we can address the issues we are already facing today, such as the sensible use of drinkable water when we are facing frequent drought conditions and have a finite freshwater resource, as well as long-term ongoing financial costs. Societal changes have also meant there is an increased appetite to share our different layers of history, and as Memorial Park is today, the cultural significance of the wider area to mana whenua has not been expressed.
The draft concept plan proposes a long-term vision for the future of Memorial Park to create a legacy for Te Awamutu. The draft plan aims to acknowledge the historical and cultural significance of the site, bring biodiversity back to the town from our beautiful maunga – Pirongia and Maungatautari, connect with the stream and encourage a shift towards sustainable transport to allow us to respond to challenges we as a community and a society are facing. We seek to enhance the area in a way that allows our community to be able to hear native birds, learn about and honour heritage of both the Maori and European history and get together, walk, relax, reflect and play. It’s about coming together in a way that celebrates all of our histories and creates a cohesive, connected pathway for the future.
The man-made pond has been a cherished area for our community for many years and together with mana whenua and representatives of the RSA, we’ve thought carefully about its future.
We propose removing the pond as it was disconnected from town water supply many years ago and faces a raft of challenges. While it still receives limited amounts of fresh water from the small spring at the southern side of the pond, it is primarily fed by stormwater runoff from the surrounding residential area and sealed surfaces such as roads and pathways. Contamination and high nutrient levels are often associated with stormwater runoff which feeds into the pond and the significantly large duck population adds additional nutrients to the water through droppings. Coupled with low water levels and high temperatures in summer, our pond provides perfect conditions for prolific algal blooms, turning it green and unhygienic.
Reconnecting the pond to town water supply raises a number of questions around the sensible use of drinkable water in light of environmental and societal challenges we are facing, such as recent droughts and lack of freshwater. It also has high long-term ongoing financial implications.
While we know the prospect of removing the pond is disappointing and that our community cherishes this area, its removal will also bring a number of exciting opportunities so we can continue the fun and adventure the area brings to us socially. The removal will also allow the culturally highly-significant puna (natural spring, map #16) to be restored so it once again flows back on its natural course to connect with Mangaohoi Stream.
Other new features proposed in this area include:
- Large Open Space Lawn Area providing space for play, family gatherings, picnics and to relax, reflect and take a break close to town.
- Pavilion Function Space as a flexible venue for community gatherings and family celebrations
- Māra Hūpara Playground – a natural play space for children to build confidence, explore, socialise and engage with Māori traditions and history and connect with nature
Image – Example image of an open space lawn
Images – Example images of Māra Hūpara Playground
Riparian Planting adjacent to the Mangaohoi Stream to restore and enhance the stream habitat
We’ve considered a number of aspects in relation to the Peace Fountain, including ongoing technical and financial challenges, the appropriateness of utilising drinking water and its long-term sustainability. Representatives from the Te Awamutu RSA have expressed an aspiration for a contemporary memorial to be installed which commemorates not only WWII but all past veterans of recent wars. This will enhance the Memorial area of the park into a place to remember, reflect and commemorate all those lost in service to our country.
The draft concept plan proposes a new contemporary memorial feature to be designed and located in collaboration with the Te Awamutu RSA to replace the Peace Fountain
The draft concept plan is suggesting a shift towards pedestrians and cyclists having priority within the reserve by removing vehicle access from Mutu Street. This supports part of a wider open space walkway and cycleway network to help connect existing paths and establishing this a safer commuter route for cyclists and pedestrians heading between schools and the central Te Awamutu hub. A pedestrian threshold is proposed to improve access and safety across Mutu Street, and encourage a safer speed environment.
The proposal suggests retaining the existing western carpark and establishing a new entry and exit at Racecourse Road, once different options have been considered and selected. The carpark is proposed to be upgraded with planting and low-impact stormwater design to help reduce the carpark’s visual and ecological impact on the site.
The plan also proposes that vehicle access remains from Mangahoe Street entry for entry to the clubrooms and the carpark. With the removal of vehicle access at Mutu Street, there is a potential to accommodate more parks and enable a safe cycle route through this area.
We propose to move the Amphitheatre and associated Historic Relief Sculpture Wall Panel closer to the stream to allow for larger community gatherings such as “Shakespeare in the Park” and family celebrations including weddings. The upgraded Amphitheatre will have both formal and informal terraced seating options and will also enable use as an outdoor classroom. The proposed relocation also provides the opportunity to protect and restore the puna (springs) and reconnect it back to the Mangaohoi stream through the fernery.
Yes. All three Mangaohoi Stream Bridges are proposed to be redesigned and reinstated as required in collaboration with the Te Awamutu RSA and mana whenua.
The three bridges crossing the Mangaohoi Stream commemorate the New Zealand Army (Papatūānuku), the Royal New Zealand Air Force (Ranginui) and the Royal New Zealand Navy (Tangaroa) and redesign will provide a great opportunity to connect the different layers of history at the site - both European and NZ Maori history.
Previous community feedback has provided strong support for the bridge currently fenced off in the centre of Memorial Park to be replaced. This will occur when funding becomes available.
The draft concept plan also proposes removal of the Te Awamutu and District War Memorial Park Gateways constructed in 2001. This is due to the change in direction from vehicle access to pedestrian and cycle access, and the shift of the main entrance – Eastern Gateway (17) to the centre of Memorial Park off Mutu Street to align with the broad shared pathway.
We propose that any changes to the existing entryway/entry threshold are designed and implemented in collaboration with Te Awamutu RSA and mana whenua to reflect Te Awamutu’s wider legacy, character, long-term vision and visual identity proposed for the reserve.
Although some of the heritage features (see previous FAQs) are proposed to be removed, many are being retained, protected and/or enhanced, such as the three Mangaohoi Stream bridges, the stone wall, the Te Awamutu and District War Memorial/Sunken Cross.
The draft concept plan proposes to create additional view shafts and enhance existing ones from paths and down to the Mangaohoi and Mangapiko stream. This will be done through management of current vegetation and future restorative planting. Low growing species are proposed in areas closest to the gathering spaces, bridges, pathway and trails to open up areas for viewing and lighting is also proposed.
The draft plan proposes to restore and revitalise our two beautiful streams flowing through Memorial Park with native plant species that would naturally occur in this habitat in the Waipa District. This will help prevent erosion and also provide habitat for our native wildlife from our beautiful maunga, Maungatautari and Pirongia. Planting would occur in stages to create a self-sustaining forestry, with low plantings in certain areas to maintain and enhance view shafts. The plan also proposes a planting strip of each side of gullies, tributaries and overland flow path to revegetate these areas with native grasses, sedges and flaxes which help filter and cool down stormwater before it enters the stream.As part of this native planting programme, we are also proposing to restore and reconnect the natural spring at the south of the pond back to the Mangaohoi Stream through the fernery.
Click here to fill in our online survey or pick up a hard copy from our council offices. Feedback closes 5pm, Monday 13 July 2020.