Council parks, reserves, pathways and activities survey underway

Published on June 17, 2021

Kowhai Park road

Whanganui District Council is interested in finding out how the community uses the many parks, reserves and connecting walkways in the district. 

The public input – which can be provided via an online survey – will form part of early consultation work to help the council update its strategy for how these public spaces are managed and developed. 

Council policy advisor Sandy Lee says there are more than 300 parks and reserves in the district, some of which are privately owned or are part of the Department of Conservation’s portfolio. 

“The current Parks and Open Spaces strategy was developed in 2007 to cover a 20-year period. Since the strategy was developed we have seen significant growth and demographic change in Whanganui,” says Sandy Lee. 

“It is now necessary for the strategy to be updated so that it is informed by the current issues and interests of the community as well as the collective challenges we presently face.” 

The information gathered during this pre-consultation work will help the council to identify and refine some of the key issues. 

Sandy Lee says the council is also speaking with other community organisations and key stakeholders like Sport Whanganui, Safer Whanganui, the Positive Ageing Forum, Whanganui Police, Whanganui District Health Board, youth and other interest groups. 

“We would like to know what the experiences, interests and needs of the community are in relation to parks, reserves and connecting pathways, including the types of activities that residents engage in in these spaces. This will help us shape the direction and vision for these important public spaces in our district.” 

The survey will take about 10-15 minutes to complete and includes questions about how often residents use parks, reserves and pathways, what activities they use them for, how safe they feel using them, and whether the facilities, like playgrounds, meet the needs of users. 

It is expected public consultation on the draft strategy will begin near the end of this year with a new, updated strategy adopted in early 2022. 

Alongside this consultation, Sport Whanganui will conduct a review into the use of sporting facilities at Springvale Park, beginning with consultation with current key stakeholders. 

Complete the survey, which closes at 5.00pm on Friday, 30 July 2021.

If you would like more information, please email Sandy Lee.