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Int. theme gardens for Queen Elizabeth Park

International theme gardens for Queen Elizabeth Park

Greater Wellington Regional Council is considering setting aside land in Queen Elizabeth Park for gardens that represent different regions of the world.

The idea for up to five linked international “home spaces” will be looked at as part of the QE Park management plan review. The concept is for a series of plantings of trees and shrubs, and garden structures, around a central open space for performances and sport. As well as being “a little slice of home” for migrants to the region, it will be a way to bring the whole community together, according to Greater Wellington chairperson Margaret Shields.

Councillor Shields raised the proposal after talking to international community representatives. “Evidence suggests that despite New Zealand’s rigorous selection procedures, many of our new migrants have problems fitting in, and often feel undervalued.”

Using this land to grow plants from the countries of selected migrant communities would make newcomers to New Zealand feel more at home and provide links with the regional community as a whole, she says. “Involving those with a particular interest and knowledge of appropriate plantings would be an important part of such a venture. With careful planning we can make sure the exotic plants work in harmony with the park and the vision for the future.”

The land under consideration is the old playing field at the MacKays Crossing entrance to the park. Advantages are that the site is flat, close to State Highway 1 and there are opportunities for water features.

Councillor Shields says the proposal is still in its formative stages. She is raising it now to give people a chance to think about it prior to Greater Wellington’s review of the Queen Elizabeth Park management plan. “Queen Elizabeth is a unique regional park and hopefully there will be lots of good ideas for its future.”

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