Source: Whangarei District Council
Updated: 7/09/2020 4:23 p.m.
Construction is due to start next month on a transformational project for the heart of Whangārei’s waterfront.
The new $5.2 million urban park at the Town Basin will provide an important link between Whangārei’s waterfront, the Huarahi o te Whai Hātea Loop Walkway and the city centre.
The project will transform the waterfront site next to the Victoria Canopy Bridge into a versatile urban space for community events and general recreation.
Park construction was due to start earlier this year but was pushed out by several factors including the Covid-19 outbreak and the need to align with the opening of the Hundertwasser Art Centre with Wairau Maori Art Gallery, which is being constructed on the adjoining site.
Additional carparks have been added around the city centre over the past few years in preparation for closure of the Canopy Bridge Carpark. Commuters are also encouraged to use public transport, walking or cycling on the new shared paths, or other alternatives to all-day parking of private vehicles in the busy city centre.
Whangarei District Council Infrastructure Planning and Capital Works Manager, Shelley Wharton, says the final design of the park was decided on based on public feedback.
“The three features that were rated by the public as being the most desirable for the site were viewing terraces, a large lawn, and a water feature. This design delivers on all these with an amphitheatre to hold community concerts, markets and events, a great lawn for people to gather and relax, terraced waterfront seating, trees for shade, new public toilets, a large kinetic sculpture, and illuminated water jets for park users to splash around in during summer.”
Mrs Wharton says the land the park is to be built on has a rich Maori and European history and these cultural narratives are referenced in the new park’s design.
The Hātea Loop, which borders the new park will remain open during the park construction.
There will be a formal naming process later this year and the public will get the chance to give suggestions for naming the new park.