Council & City

Memorial Park upgrade

We’re upgrading Memorial Park with a brand new playground and a giant splashpad. Construction started in May 2020.

Photo shows artist's illustration of new splashpad next to the paddling pool at Memorial Park.

The new outdoor splashpad will be the only one in our region and free to use.

The upgrades will cost $1.2 million. Palmerston North City Council is funding half of the $500,000 splashpad. $15,000 has come from Mainland Foundation, and we’re waiting to hear back on an application for the remaining $235,000. The other work will be funded from our park upgrades budget.

Splashpad expected to be regional drawcard

Construction on the splashpad will be started once funding is secured.

It will sit next to the current paddling pool, with separate areas for babies and toddlers, and older children.

The section for under-fives is physically separated from the older kids’ area by the main footpath, and also has a barrier around it to keep them safe. Within this area there is also a smaller section for babies.

The all-ages area includes the southern hemisphere’s only free supersoaker – a giant bucket that tips water.

The current paddling pool is remaining in entirety, but the fencing will be replaced. The splashpad will operate at the same time as the paddling pool each year, which is generally from Labour Weekend until late summer.

Upgrade will include most accessible playground and family area in the city

Photo shows computer generated graphic of children and adults at new poppy-themed playground.

The poppy-themed playground will be the most accessible in Palmy.

The playground will sit where the current playground is, but be on a far larger scale.

There’ll be one major playground for all ages which will feature climbing tubes, slides, ramps, swings, balancing balls and ropes, climbing walls and fall nets.

The toddler playground has a slide, bridge and tunnel. Both playgrounds feature large poppies coming out of the structures to draw on the park’s history and provide shade.

The playground has been designed with ramps so everyone can play together. Water fountains and barbecues will also be accessibility friendly.

We’re talking with disability groups about an appropriate place for the current swing to go.

The current playground is being taken apart and will be reused in other parks in the city.

Half the duck pond will remain. The half closest to the playground will be filled in and become a natural play area. We will likely fill this in during this construction and turn it into natural garden next year.

Memorial theme runs strongly throughout the park

Photo shows howizter next to wartime-themed facility block.

Work is already underway to strengthen the landmark park's memorial theme.

One of the key things residents wanted during consultation was a stronger connection to the memorial name. As part of our development plan, odes to history and war-time will feature throughout the park. That will be from murals on the buildings, the recently installed gun at the entrance, through to the poppies that come out of the splashpad and playground.

The upgrades have been designed so the whole park is a memorial, rather than just a typical concrete structure. All current memorials on the site will remain.

Park will remain open during construction

The upgrades are being completed by a number of small Manawatū contractors. The materials all come from within New Zealand, other than the splashpad equipment, which comes from Canada.

The playground and pool area, which were already closed due to Covid-19, have been fenced off in preparation for construction beginning. Throughout construction the skating rink, sportsfields, grassy area, duck pond and toilets will be open for use. The lower carpark will be closed for the contractors’ machinery, and for safety reasons. The upper carpark will remain open and people can access the park from the multiple pedestrian gates.

Construction will take place Monday to Friday, but there is a potential for Saturdays if required.

Timeline

We were hoping to have all the work completed in time to open for summer, but have had to halt construction while we secure funding for the splashpad.

More information

You can read more about our plans for the park here: