Senior property and parks planner Aaron Phillips says the idea to purchase the land was first raised during the development of the 2009 Active Recreation Plan. Members of the public asked Council to consider improving access to the Manawatū River by purchasing the land which was then owned by AML Limited.
Several years ago Council staff entered into a conversation with AML Limited about the future of the property, due diligence was carried out and negotiations undertaken. Recently, Council was advised AML Limited has accepted Council's offer to purchase the property for $20,000.
"The area is already very popular with walkers, dog walkers and cyclists. The purchase will ensure the area remains accessible to the public and also improves access to the Manawatū River."
"It brings the total park land in the area to 28ha, doubling the size of Waitoetoe Park."
Most of the new property will be managed as a wilderness area with only basic pest plant control, says Aaron. "It'll be a place of adventure alongside the more manicured spaces along the river."
In the 2015/16 financial year part of the land will be used to construct vehicle access and a car park which will provide ease of access to a popular swimming hole.
As of June last year Palmerston North had 642ha of sports fields, reserves and walkways, 176ha of which is the Arapuke Forest Park. There are 58 kilometres of walkways and paths including the Manawatū River Shared Pathway which is currently being widened and extended. Since these figures were collated the first stage of the Te Ara Tahatika - the Ashhurst to Palmerston North Shared Pathway was also opened.