RSA endorses newly adopted War Memorial Park concept plan
Having been transformed after community feedback, the final Te Awamutu War Memorial Park concept plan has now been adopted by elected members.
The final concept plan, which received a near-total transformation as a result of community feedback, was adopted at the Waipā District Council’s Strategic Planning & Policy Committee on 1 June 2021.
Councillors across the table were vocal in their support for the plan, and encouraged staff to partner with the community in the plan’s implementation.
The final plan will see historic memorials remain, such as the Peace Fountain and pedestrian bridge, and other enhancements to further create a legacy for the town. Improving the environment, waterways and celebrating the town’s mana whenua heritage and war history are at the plan’s core.
Community services manager, Sally Sheedy, said staff had taken nearly all of the community feedback into the plan.
“The water quality of the pond remains a key concern so a reduced pond is now in the plan instead of complete removal,” Sheedy said.
“By adopting the concept plan, this will allow the next steps, such as detailed designs to be budgeted for.
“We are pleased to embrace and cherish the park and its war memorials and to also tell of its earlier history with our iwi partners.”
Te Awamutu Returned & Services Association president Lou Brown said he too was pleased with the outcome.
“On behalf of the Te Awamutu RSA, we are very happy with where the plan arrived at and will be pleased to work together with mana whenua on a number of aspects in the park.
“Mana whenua and the RSA will communicate with the Memorial Park Maintenance Committee and work together for the best outcomes for the park’s future.”
“As long as we retain our memorials and the mana of the park for our soldiers and veterans, we are quite keen to see the projects funded and underway. It’s important that we work together in the future as this is a legacy for all of us.”
Council staff have been working alongside the RSA on park maintenance over the past year and the new plan will enable more collaboration, said Sheedy.
“The plan gives space to mana whenua heritage while respecting the memorial park nature in one cohesive plan moving forward. Unfortunately we aren’t in a position to start any of the projects, even those identified for short term implementation until funding is received.”
Funding for the final War Memorial Park concept plan was one of the Council’s five big topics in this year’s 2021-2031 Long Term Plan, which will be adopted at the end of June. Feedback from the community indicated they wished for the projects to be funded through asset sales to help reduce the impact on ratepayers.
“Identifying which assets will be sold will be determined during the development of the property strategy, which is currently underway,” said Council’s strategy and community services group manager Debbie Lascelles.
The final Te Awamutu War Memorial Park concept plan can be viewed at www.waipadc.govt.nz/memorialpark.