A $3.4 million Queen Elizabeth II Park refresh is poised to start if a Hearings Panel’s recommendations on the Park Draft Master Plan are adopted by the Christchurch City Council.
The draft plan proposes a long-term vision for the 36-hectare site, as funding becomes available.
Some of the major elements set to go ahead in the first phase include a playground featuring a sandpit with a digger and buried “fossils”, a basket swing, wooden horses and a tube slide.
In a nod to QEII Park as the home of the 1974 Commonwealth Games, two running tracks have been recommended for the area, along with a Games emblem four square court and a podium.
Upgraded fitness stations are also in the draft plan, along with a disc golf course and adventure nature trail.
The Hearings Panel has approved the draft plan with several amendments following community consultation. The plan will now go to the full Council for a final decision.
The amendments include a full basketball court, improved shade by the play area and confirmation of the cycle stand site. However, some amendments remain subject to funding.
A portion of the south-west corner of the park has been set aside for future commercial development, and following approval the Council will kick-start the process.
A move to investigate potential time and cost savings for earthworks has also been recommended.
Space has been approved for a sports changing facility, but the panel is recommending that staff be directed to look at cost efficiencies through the development of this project.
Panel Chairperson Cr Glenn Livingstone says the Draft Master Plan is a wonderful reflection of how the community feels about QEII Park.
“We’ve done a lot of consultation with people of all ages, and they’ve told us they see it as a place to learn, get active and have fun together,” he says.
“This plan sets out exactly how we’re going to make that happen, and the feedback tells us the community wants the chance to dig in and help.”
He says there is a strong desire from the community to get involved in tree planting, and in the development of a natural haven for forest birds and wildlife that can sit alongside a commercial venture.
They also support the facilities planned for the park, reinforcing the need for top sporting amenities in the area that fulfil the original purpose of QEII Park.
“When the 1974 Commonwealth Games firmly put Christchurch on the international sporting map, the city became host to one of the region’s best sports venues,” Cr Livingstone says.
“We remain committed to honouring QEII Park's legacy as a multi-use sports ground, with the proposed new facilities ensuring that the area can host regional and local tournaments, along with senior grade sports.”
If the Council approves the QEII Park Master Plan, planning will get under way in July.