Kokohuia Wetland development master plan

  • Project typeWetland development
  • Completion Date30 March 2030

A Kokohuia restoration hapū wananga will be held on Wednesday, 6 December so Whanganui and Nga Rauru hapū can be updated on recommendations for the Kokohuia and Titoki wetland developments. The meeting will be held from 6pm to 8pm at Te Kura o Kokohuia, Matipo Street. Attendees will hear from the hapū-led advisory group about recommendations and outcomes and planning updates for the areas, including the inter-generational vision for the Kokohuia and Titoki developments from the perspective of rangatahi.


Kokohuia wetland project - artist's impression of completed project.  

An artist's impression of the completed project

Whanganui District Council is developing a Kokohia Wetland development master plan that will guide development for the next 10 years.

This project is contained in a programme of works in the council's long-term plan. It is expected the master plan will develop constructed concept designs for Kokohuia Wetland and will guide future development to 2030. 

The aim of this plan is to Improve water quality, flood attenuation performance in the vicinity of Kokohuia and future land use. There also would be a series of benefits for the stakeholders, neighbours and interest groups such as, but not limited to, ecology, education, open space values, heritage, cycleways and pedestrian pathways (shared pathways), stormwater and general community building and identity values.

Located between Puriri Street and the Whanganui River, the Kokohuia-Heads Road industrial area master plan arose from concerns about periodic flooding issues within the Industrial Area. The site boundary incorporates the reserve, Balgownie Wetland and the Heads Road industrial area with a total area of about 114 hectares.

Historically, the industrial area and reserve were a wetland on the edge of the Whanganui River, which made it a key location for land reclamation along the river’s edge during the initial development of the city. The industrial area was built on reclaimed land and the reserve developed over a landfill that filled in the wetland.

Whanganui District Council, the Heads Road industrial group and local Iwi have been reviewing options for the area, with a view to solve stormwater issues while improving community, economic, environment and ecological amenity. This integrated approach creates a number of benefits that include:

  • stormwater solutions that provide water-quality improvements
  • a recreational open space and connections to the Whanganui River for the local residents
  • a landscape with an educational component for local schools, while providing branding / beautification for the Heads Road indusustrial area
  • the provision of additional land for development that provides passive surveillance and easy access to a public open space
  • improving the overall ecology of the region through the enhancement of waterways and the potential reconnection of the Whanganui River to Westmere Lake.

The reserve as viewed today is significantly altered from its original landscape, but despite this it still provides one of the largest green spaces in the city.

With the exception of the local school, the community and industrial area turn their back on the space. This is probably due to the historical nature of the reserve and its use as a landfill. This creates poor access into the reserve and very little passive surveillance, as well as a low recreational amenity.

However, the current reserve does have a range of significant values that with minor editing could create a great place for the local community to use. The current values include, informal paths that provide an enjoyable stroll through the site, the Balgownie Wetland, that with some enhancement could provide an excellent ecological and educational component.

Healthy Streams Whanganui logo There are also extensive views of the Whanganui River, Mt Ruapehu, Mt Taranaki and the surrounding landscape. These values make this a key site for regeneration that could deliver a range of benefits for all users, as well as solving the most immediate problem, the alleviation of flooding within the Heads Road industrial area.

This project is part of Healthy Streams Whanganui, which is a community project led by Whanganui District Council to keep our waterways clean and tidy. Community project partners include local iwi, Horizons Regional Council, government departments, charitable trusts, commercial businesses and landowners.

You can read more about Health Streams Whanganui here.

Aerial view of Kokohuia wetland area

A 'before' view of the Kokohuia Wetland area


Kokohuia wetland, Castlecliff 4501  View Map

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