Palmy’s newest river entrance opens just in time for summer

Published on 17 November 2023

Image shows three people walking along a zigzag walkway leading to river

Palmy residents now have greater access to the Manawatū River with the opening of a brand new entrance at Hokowhitu Lagoon, located behind the old teacher’s college off Kanuka Drive.

This addition is the latest in a series of revamped entranceways to the river, complete with steps and an accessible ramp and rail.

Council's Group Manager of Parks, Kathy Dever-Tod, says it's come at the perfect time.

"As we’re heading into summer, we're pleased to provide our community with a new entrance to the river. Whether you're strolling by the lagoon or looking to make a quick beeline to the river, this entranceway is your golden ticket. It not only connects our residents with the heart of our community, the Manawatū River, but also highlights our commitment to preserving our cultural heritage here in Palmy.”

Rangitāne representative Chris Whaiapu shares the significance of this special spot.

“This area was once the home of a beautiful village known as Tapu-i-houhou and Tutuparapara. There used to be an old punga whare and a meeting house called Manawakaitahi, that stood amongst a magnificent Tōtara grove, including an ancient stand of Kanuka. It was a food store, plentiful and in abundance with kai, covered in traditional gardens and fruit trees, and served as a great fishing spot for eels in the old mouth of the Ruahine stream, that once connected to the old lagoon, Te Ngutu, and emptied into the river. All that remains of this once majestic village is this area where the former teacher’s college tennis court used to be.”

Mrs Dever-Tod says the Council and Rangitāne have collaborated with Wallace Development on this project.

"We'd like to express our appreciation to Wallace Development, who have been busy building homes and commercial properties in the area. They’ve been instrumental in the project's success and have made working in this area a real breeze.”

This project is aligned with the city's Manawatū River Framework, which is all 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. With the opening of this new entranceway to our Manawatū River shared pathway, our city takes another step towards achieving this vision.