Pocket park 'a fitting tribute' to region's first woman mayor
The "pocket park" in Blenheim's central business district is to be named after Marlborough's first woman mayor, Liz Davidson.
The park is on the corner of Queen and Charles streets.
Marlborough Mayor Alistair Sowman said the park would be known as Davidson Place, consistent with other names in the town.
The name was suggested by councillor Terry Sloan, and Mr Sowman said it was "a fitting tribute" to Mrs Davidson and her service.
It was also important to recognise her contribution while she was alive.
“There would be very few local body politicians able to match her length of service across the community, not just to the council itself, but to the many other organisations to which Liz committed her energies,” he said.
Mrs Davidson was first elected to the Blenheim Borough Council in 1983. She was mayor from 1995 to 1998, serving 27 years on the council, a record of local body involvement which continued until 2010 when she stood down from Marlborough District Council.
She was a strong advocate of civic amenities such as cycleways and walkways during her time on the council, and was an early backer of the Wither Hills and the Taylor River walkways and a key supporter of the Stadium 2000 complex.
Mrs Davidson said she was honoured the council would recognise her by naming the park after her.
A strong supporter of women's issues, her next move was to suggest the council plant a white camellia in the park, in support of women's votes to recognise Suffrage Day on September 19.
The park is due for completion by mid-December.
Mr Sloan said he was pleased a way had been found to remember Mrs Davidson as an enormous force for getting things achieved and was a trailblazer in getting women to stand for council.
He said the pocket park was one component of a far larger picture.
“This park is just the first step of a major upgrade of the CBD which will be completed over the next 10 to 15 years as part of the town's urban design strategy.
"It may be difficult for some people to imagine how the town is going to look by 2025 but Davidson Place is going to be a key element of our future townscape.”
- The Marlborough Express