Expansive New Community And Recreation Space Planned For Kaipātiki Reserve, Parakai
The restoration of Kaipātiki Reserve (formerly Parakai Recreation Reserve) is taking another step forward with plans to create an expansive new play space and community recreation area.
The initial design concepts will be shared with the community at the upcoming Kaipātiki Reserve Open Day, Saturday 29 May from 11am to 2pm, inside Te Whare Oranga ō Parakai, 5 Rere Place, Parakai.
Members from Te Poari o Kaipātiki ki Kaipara (formerly the Parakai Recreation Reserve Board) will be there on the day, alongside staff and the designers Resilio Studio, to talk to the community about the plans and the inspiration behind the designs. There will also be a free sausage sizzle, games and a chance to see some of the proposed play space features.
Included in the concept is a new playground which incorporates māra hūpara (traditional Māori play elements), a basketball court, and BBQ and picnic table spaces. The redevelopment will also include new public toilet facilities, paths and enhancements to the reserve entrance and parking.
The concept is woven together in a design that seeks to appreciate the Ngāti Whātua o Kaipara people, lands, waters, heritage and ancestry. The concepts have been guided by prominent artist and designer Bernard Makoare (Te Uri o Hau; Ngāti Whatua; Te Waiariki; Te Kai Tutae; Te Rarawa; Ngāpuhi-nui-tonu).
In addition to creating a hub for recreational activity, the project aims to enhance the mauri / life force of Kaipātiki and Te Awa Kahawai / the Parakai geothermal field, so it is healthy and remains a taonga tuku iho / treasure to be passed on.
Ngāti Whātua o Kaipara have a long connection with the geothermal springs located on the reserve, and the springs were renowned for their natural healing qualities. The Crown formally returned the reserve jointly to Ngāti Whātua o Kaipara and Auckland Council in 2013. The settlement process also restored the original name to the whenua: Kaipātiki.
Restoration and development of the reserve is an outcome of the Kaipātiki Reserve Management Plan which sets the vision for the reserve spanning the next 50 years.
The first phase has been completed with the removal of the former campground, vegetation work and reinstatement of grassed areas to return the front reserve to open community space. A campground more appropriate for the space now sits in the mid-reserve and is comprised of a three-bedroom bach, a two-bedroom tiny home and fourteen self-contained campervan (SCC) sites available for temporary stays via the Auckland Council accommodation booking system. In time, the mid and back areas of the reserve will also be enhanced.
Jane Sherard, Chairperson of Te Poari o Kaipātiki ki Kaipara, says the Board is excited about the future of Kaipātiki as a revitalised community space.
“Over the last several years much work has been done on planning a future for Kaipātiki as a place for people to share and enjoy – a place that supports the local economy, enhances the unique features of the reserve and reflects Ngāti Whātua and the local communities.”
“The reserve is well-known for the Parakai Springs hot pool complex and the kaupapa of creating a new community space alongside the new accommodation offerings is an important next step towards elevating Kaipātiki as a destination in the South Kaipara and restoring the whenua to its historical and cultural prominence as a place of healing.”