The first park in the new Peacocke neighbourhood will recognise the horticultural history of the area.
The park, on Inuwai Street in Dixon Heights, will celebrate the area’s previous life as a food bowl for Maaori and English settlers. The surrounding areas were used by tangata whenua to grow wheat, corn, kuumara, taro and hue and later by English settlers as a market garden with fruit trees.
The park will include a playground, basketball half-court and flat grassed areas, and is the first community facility in the Peacocke neighbourhood that will eventually be home to up to 20,000 people.
Hamilton City Council Parks and Recreation Manager Maria Barrie said it was important to recognise the unique history of the land and the people that came before us when building new community spaces.
“Playgrounds are a fun and creative way of telling the stories of a local area and we spent time talking to the local community and mana whenua about what they would like to see in the park.
“The playground picks up on these themes of growing our own food and will include traditional plant and fruit tree varieties, as well as planter boxes for a future community garden.”
The park will also include swings, slides, balance equipment, picnic areas, cycle and scooter racks and a drinking fountain.
The Council’s Growth Programmes Manager, Karen Saunders, said well-planned, attractive green spaces were an important part of creating the new neighbourhood in Peacocke to provide places for people to connect with nature and each other.
“We so often talk about houses and infrastructure like pipes and roads when building a new neighbourhood, but it’s spaces like parks and playgrounds that take a row of houses and make it a place people can call home. We’re proud of the work we’re doing to create the Peacocke community and it’s great to see community facilities be built at the right time to support new growth and the people who are already living in the area.”
Construction of the playground is expected to begin in mid-March and will be completed by the end of May. The park will be closed to the public while construction takes place.
Mana whenua have supported the proposed name ‘Inuwai Park’ and this will be considered at the Council’s Community Committee meeting in April before being formally named by the Council. There is also space for a pou to be installed at a later date.
The upgrade is budgeted to cost $223,800 and is funded through the 2018-28 10-Year Plan.
Peacocke is being built with the support of $290.4M of the Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund, made up of a $180.3M 10-year interest-free loan and $110.1M of Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency subsidies.
The Peacocke programme will deliver a new bridge, main roads, parks, and strategic water, wastewater and stormwater networks. Other work includes protecting and enhancing the environment, including the extensive gully system, and investigating community facilities which are also important parts of creating a new community in Peacocke.
When completed, Peacocke will be home for up to 20,000 Hamiltonians.