Your Council

Victoria Esplanade masterplan

We’re preparing a masterplan for the Victoria Esplanade and we want to hear your views on it. With the Central Energy Trust Wildbase Recovery facility nearing completion in the middle of the park, and the He Ara Kotahi Bridge construction underway right next to it, we’re entering a really exciting time!

Victoria Esplanade flyover

This drone footage shows the full extent of the Esplanade as well as neighbouring parks, facilities, and the Manawatū River. It was shot in March 2017 with the drone flying at 55 metres.

The masterplan provides for the ongoing protection, development and management of Victoria Esplanade. The plan will form an integral part of making sure the city’s most popular public space is enjoyed by future generations.

Over the last year we've undertaken plenty of background assessment work on the current state and use of the facilities at the Esplanade. We did this with Rangitāne and a range of experts collaborating together and we also synced in with our Manawatū River Framework document too.

We canvassed key stakeholders on the main issues and we've also touched base with many park users to understand what you value, like and love about the space. Now it’s time to share our thoughts with you.

Check out the documents in the ‘Downloads’ section to get a good feel for our plans.

Remember this is a masterplan for a large reserve so it’s pitched at the ‘big picture level’ and doesn’t yet drill into the detail – but this is where you can help.

Key themes

In the work we’ve done so far the following themes have emerged:

  1. The Esplanade will benefit from a character area focus to help preserve, enhance and manage the unique areas within the space.
  2. To improve the visitor experience in the Esplanade a much greater focus is needed on safe and convenient pedestrian movement and connectivity.
  3. A new entrance and driveway arrangement is needed as a priority from Park Road to improve access safety and convenience for all modes of transport especially with the opening of the He Ara Kotahi Bridge expected 2019.
  4. There needs to be more connection with the Manawatū River and more elements of Rangitāne culture expressed within the Esplanade.
  5. Provision for safe and easy vehicle access, movement and parking is important. These elements need to be designed, ordered and allocated efficiently so that those with mobility impairments, minivans and coaches (with young and old passengers) and service vehicles are catered for as a priority.


The masterplan is being consulted upon as part of Council’s 10 Year Plan process as it forms a key part of the strategic moves we have planned for the city. As such, the method, timeframe and your opportunity to speak to your submission are being hosted through that process.

The following keys dates apply to the 10 Year Plan process:

  • 19 March to 23 April: Submissions open
  • 9 to 16 May: Public Hearings scheduled
  • 28-29 May: Committee of Council meeting (Council considers submissions)
  • 25 June: Full Council meeting (Council makes final decision on 10 Year Plan)


Do you want to speak to your submission? We'll be holding hearings in the Council Chamber in May. Please indicate your preferred date and time in your submission form.

Wed 9 May 9am-11am 12noon-2pm 3.30pm-5.30pm 7pm-9pm
Thu 10 May 9am-11am 12noon-2pm 3.30pm-5.30pm 7pm-9pm
Fri 11 May 9am-11am 12noon-2pm 3.30pm-5.30pm 7pm-9pm
Tue 15 May 9am-11am 12noon-2pm 3.30pm-5.30pm 7pm-9pm
Wed 16 May 9am-11am 12noon-2pm 3.30pm-5.30pm 7pm-9pm

Tell us what you think

Please feel free to make a submission on our plans, big or small by Monday 23 April 2018.

  1. Your contact details

  2. (if applicable)
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  2. Top 5 Questions we want your feedback on

    When we look at the future of the Esplanade there are five key questions we would like to have your views on:

  3. Access & Movement

    We want to promote safe and easy access for all abilities across the Esplanade and to the Manawatū River. We recognise that from time to time there isn’t enough parking provision. We also understand City residents enjoy the scenic drive through the reserve, sometimes as a shortcut, and like the ability to drive right into the heart of it to park up close to their destination.

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  2. Duck Pond, Aviaries, Peter Black Conservatory and RSA Paddling Pool

    All four facilities have relatively high operational costs and require varying degrees of investment to bring up to modern standards. With the new Central Energy Trust Wildbase Recovery facility opening close by later this year it will further highlight their dated appearance. They are all popular features of the reserve.

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  2. Things to do

    As the reserve is such a popular space we get approached regularly with short term and long term proposals for new features, sometimes of a commercial nature. We are told there is ample space for more activities and it is the ideal spot. We want to balance the open space character of the reserve carefully against having lots of fun things to see and do.

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  2. Cultural Heritage

    The history of the Esplanade extends back centuries. We want to make sure the history expresses Rangitāne values and asiprations. But we also want to better recognise its Victorian origins and the Botanical Garden experience.

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  2. Manawatū River

    For decades the City has turned its back to the river. However, in recent years with the development of the shared path network people are visiting the river environment in increasing numbers. With the opening of the He Ara Kotahi Bridge in 2019, and the roll out of projects in the Manawatū River Framework, we expect user numbers to grow significantly. With its central location the Esplanade is perfectly positioned to complement the experience.

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  1. As required by the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987, all submissions will be regarded as publicly available, including their placement on the Council's website. You can request that your contact details (but not your name) be regarded as confidential by ticking the following box: