Plan to develop park

A building without walls is part of a plan to breathe more community life into Palmerston North's Farnham Park.

Te Aroha Noa Community Services, based across the road in Brentwood Ave, has asked the city council to contribute $20,000.

Community development worker Brad Rapira told a long term plan submissions hearing that he was working with neighbours to ensure the park, previously the scene of fights, anti-social behaviour and tagging, was looked after.

People had been involved in the new design through a series of hui, meetings with residents, and tours of other parks in the city.

A limestone path around the periphery had already been laid, with help from locals, and the next steps, in June, would involve planting native trees and shrubs and setting up community vegetable gardens.

There would eventually be a series of fitness stations around the path, with extensions to the skate ramp and basketball area.

"We are trying to get people up and moving, because we know active people engage a lot more in the community."

The building project would create a sheltered outdoor space for events, meetings and education, while still allowing people an unimpeded view across the park from all angles.

A building consent has been granted, and some of the materials have been provided by Housing New Zealand.

Mr Rapira said Te Aroha Noa and the surrounding community aimed to raise $160,000 for the park redevelopment. A $20,000 contribution from the council would boost morale and help attract other donors. "We are determined to make it happen. The council could make it easier. It would inspire the community that this is really happening."

Chief executive Bruce Maden said Te Aroha Noa had almost finished work on its adult and family learning centre, and was, "pushing out the boundaries of care" into the park.

Manawatu Standard