News & Events

Memorial Park pool and playground closed over summer

Thursday November 19 2020

Palmerston North residents and visitors are being encouraged to visit a new park or pool in the city this summer, with Memorial Park unfortunately needing to remain closed.

Photo shows aerial view of the unfinished upgrade at Memorial Park, with construction areas fenced off.

The construction site will remain fenced off, but the skate rink, public toilet and grassy area by the duckpond will still be accessible.

Construction on the new playground and splashpad has been halted until the remainder of funding for the splashpad can be granted.

Construction at the park started in late May and we’d hoped to secure the remaining $235,000 in funding for the splashpad during construction of the playground.

However, many funding organisations refocused the scope of their funding in the wake of Covid-19 resulting in us missing out on grants we’d been hoping to receive.

PNCC Parks and Reserves Manager Kathy Dever-Tod says some funding has been received though.

“We’ve been fortunate that both Mainland Foundation and the Lion Foundation have seen the enormous benefits this project will give our residents and have made financial contributions to this project. We currently have other funding applications being considered and are optimistic that those organisations will also realise what a drawcard the splashpad will be for our community.”

Visit a new park this summer

The Victoria Esplanade paddling pool was filled last week for summer swimming and Ms Dever-Tod is encouraging families to make use of that or the free visits to Freyberg, Esplanade and Splashhurst for under-fives and a caregiver instead.

Papaioea Park, Rangiora Reserve and Clyde Crescent Reserve are all within a few kilometres of Memorial Park, and we also have a map of more than 50 playgrounds that can also be downloaded from our website.

Photo shows new fort at Memorial Park with multiple slides, wooden walkways and ladders, and decorated with large red poppies.

Construction on the playground is almost complete.

Construction to resume after funding received

Ms Dever-Tod says construction on the playground and family area has been progressing well, and if funding applications are successful the construction of the splashpad could begin and allow the park to reopen in early 2021.

“The playground is almost complete, but we can’t lay the safety surfacing under the equipment until the water pipes for the splashpad are laid. We also need to lay additional water pipes in the park before footpaths connecting all three sites can be laid, and the pool needs to be refenced. This work could be completed within eight weeks of the full funding being received.”

Ms Dever-Tod says she understands that our residents will be upset by the news.

“Memorial Park is our second most popular park in the city and plays a vital role as a playground, aquatic facility, events venue and also has important historic connections. We are as disappointed as we know our residents will be that we haven’t been able to achieve this funding and get the park open in time for summer. We’re working hard to get external funding and are committed to getting the park completed.”

The construction site will remain fenced off while we await funding as it could pose safety risks to the public. The skate rink, public toilet and the grassy area by the duckpond will still be accessible.

Over the Line event will still take place at Memorial Park

Despite Memorial Park remaining closed, Over the Line, our large event that celebrates the end of the famous Gravel and Tar races, will still go ahead at the site on Wellington Anniversary weekend. Previously, the celebration had been held in the park, but we’ve been able to shift this into the neighbouring sportsfield instead. Extra food, entertainment and children’s activities will be on hand to welcome people into the larger space.