22 February 2019

The final stage in a significant rejuvenation of a Masterton icon will kick off next week.

Construction of stage five of the ‘Queen Elizabeth Park Rejuvenation Project’ starts on Tuesday, focusing on the area of the park along Memorial Drive and the Lake of Remembrance.

The work will increase separation between pedestrians and cars, improve overall accessibility around the lake and enable better connection throughout the park and surrounding areas. Existing seats and tables will also be replaced.

The construction work is divided into four sections, starting on the southern side of the lake in front of Coronation Hall, (the former Lake House café). Each section will take approximately two months with completion expected in Spring.

With a history dating back more than 150 years, Queen Elizabeth Park is described as the ‘Jewel in the Crown’ for Masterton.

Masterton District Council Chief Executive Kath Ross says it’s a vital part of the town’s green infrastructure and a source of great pride for people in the community.

“This project will help ensure that it continues to be a treasured asset and enjoyed by young and old for many years to come.” 

Lead contractor, Higgins, will aim to minimize disruptions to park users during construction – vehicle access along Memorial Drive will remain open throughout construction.

A key partner in the project, ‘Friends of the Park’, is supportive of the redevelopment. The group, which evolved out of the Kids Own Playground group, is particularly pleased the project will make the park more “user-friendly”.

Spokesperson Graham Dick says, “We would like to think that we are assisting the Masterton District Council to enhance the park in a way that ensures it is there for everybody in the community to enjoy. We believe that the next stage of the project will help achieve this.”

Mr Dick says he is heartened by the high number of people visiting and using the park, which is strong evidence that it is highly valued by the community.

Background information: Queen Elizabeth Park Rejuvenation Stage Five

  • Queen Elizabeth Park was recently a winner of a Green Flag Award, which recognizes well managed parks and green spaces. There are only 23 Green Flag Accredited parks and spaces in New Zealand.
  • A robust tree protection policy will ensure the safety of all existing trees. There will be no removal of trees, with additional Pin Oaks to be planted.
  • The rejuvenation project had its beginnings in 2000 – key milestones have included: the pedestrian promenade along Dixon Street including the restoration and refabrication of the fountain in Hoskin Garden; redesign to the main entrance at Pownall Gates; enhancements to the botanical area and cemetery; and landscaping on Park Island.
  • The project links with other work in the park, such as the Park Island Rejuvenation Project. Lead by Masterton South Rotary, with support from Friends of the Park and Miniature Rail, the project has included a major clean up on the island, extensive planting and the installation of additional seating and tables.
  • Happening in tandem with Stage Five is the Queen Elizabeth Park Grandstand Refurbishment Project, scheduled to commence in March.