Views on city park heard
Putting the war memories back into Memorial Park, including a 20-pound gun, is emerging as the most divisive aspect of the Palmerston North park’s proposed development.
More than 140 people have made submissions on the plan, with about 50 of them putting a splash pad water play feature at the top of their priority list for improvements.
The proposed memorial theme was the least popular, with more than 20 people giving it the lowest rank.
Planner Jason Pilkington said it has been clear during community consultation sessions that water play and family-friendly activities and facilities were winners.
But there was also a strong case for honouring the park’s history as a war memorial, and using the opportunity to include poppy motifs, murals and stories of local heroes, especially women.
Submitter Benjamin Foster said the murals and other proposed features would provide a friendlier feel to the space as well as incorporating the memorial message.
Submitter Gerard Hehir said the memorial that was more relevant today was the workers’ memorial overlooking the park from Fitzroy St.
‘‘In terms of the last 70 years, these are the stories we need to highlight more.’’
Recently-retired PSA organiser John Shennan was keen for the workers’ memorial to be given a greater profile.
The duck pond was also a hot issue for submitters, with nearly 30 people saying that cleaning it up should be the top priority.
Several submitters said what the park needed most was a bit of maintenance and tidying.
Other issues included accessible play equipment, and upgrading the sports field area, changing rooms and toilets.
Improvements have already been made to the skating rink, and Manawatu Skating Club member Lisa Thomas has asked that the development plan include lighting so it could be used into the evenings.
The development plan could see about $865,000 spent on improvements to the the 4.9-hectare park over the next six to 10 years.
More than 140 people have had their say on the plan to redevelop Memorial Park.