Manawatū River Framework

The Manawatū River Framework provides strategic vision for any developments near the river, and recognises the importance of the river to the city. Ultimately, it aims to ensure that each year there will be more things to do, and more people will spend time at the Manawatū River Park.


We want the river to be a destination for people.

The framework is about enhancing physical connections with the river environment, expressing Rangitāne O Manawatū’s connection with the river, and creating a destination with things to do.

It defines four interconnected river environments – Rural West, Urban, Rural East and Gateway – and key directions and design principles to identify opportunities for improving the river environment.

Its purpose is to:

  • provide the vision and flexibility to guide large projects over time
  • communicate the design vision for the space beside the river
  • coordinate projects in and around the river

Read the framework

River Framework key directions

Connectivity: Build the network first

Develop connections and junctions along the shared pathway in a consistent way, across the length and breadth of the park.

Uniqueness: Create a distinctive sense of place

Create a range of spaces where different activities can happen in a way that is appropriate to the environment.

Destination: Activate the river edge

Improve access points along the path to areas that are already used.

Express Rangitāne and Maori culture

Through storytelling and recognising significant sites.

Restore ecology and environmental quality

By encouraging projects that will improve water quality and mitigate flooding.

Create a sense of ownership

Engage communities to create spaces where people can have informal gatherings.