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Green light for play in Riverhead

Published: 11 May 2021

Concept plans for Deacon Point, Riverhead Point Drive and Riverhead War Memorial Park have been adopted by Rodney Local Board.

Plans to develop the areas began after a 2018 study highlighted the shortage of play space in Riverhead.

Board Chair Phelan Pirrie says Riverhead has experienced significant population growth in the past decade.

“Children make up about a quarter of the population and that’s going as far back as the 2013 Census. Since then, more families are living in the new subdivisions and they need spaces to play and relax.”

Consultation and engagement events were held with iwi and stakeholders, including community groups and residents, and their feedback has informed the plans.

Board member Danielle Hancock says the playspaces will complement each other and incorporate each park’s unique characteristics.

“Memorial park sits in the heart of the township and many sports and recreation activities take place here. The tiny junior playground is often packed.

“Feedback showed overwhelming support for a large centrally-located playground that caters for children of all ages. It’s themed around movement and the action taking place on the sports fields nearby.”

Park access is via a narrow entrance on Coatesville Riverhead Highway or a driveway off Princes Street. Safety concerns have been raised and the new design will fix this. The main entry off the highway will be widened and the Princes Street entry will be converted to pedestrian access.

Hancock says, “Point Drive Park is an easy walk for residents who told us they want a learn-to-ride path. This fits well with the park’s linear shape and the stream is also incorporated into the design.

“Stunning views overlooking Rangitopuni Creek and its history as a portage route make Deacon Point a special place to be. People want to spend time, relax and picnic so the minimalistic design reflects this.”

A budget of $3.8m is being allocated to build the Riverhead parks over the next five years and includes playspaces, walkways, toilet facilities and a car park renewal.

The Riverhead Parks and Play document includes consultation feedback and concept plans for each park. 

The Rodney Local Board Plan 2020 has details of the board’s activities, funding and investment decisions.

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