Victoria Esplanade is Palmerston North’s premier park and holds a special place in the hearts of many residents. More than 600,000 people visit it every year.

As well as creating pedestrian-friendly links between the park and the river, the Esplanade masterplan links the Central Energy Trust Wildbase Recovery Centre (expected to open in August 2018), He Ara Kotahi bridge (expected to open in April 2019) and the Junior Road Safety Park (opened in December 2017). These projects are also part of our enhancements to the Manawatū River network.

We asked for your feedback on the masterplan alongside this 10 Year Plan. But through the 10 Year Plan consultation process we asked what priority you put on the development of the Esplanade.

You can comment using the form at the bottom of this page, or include your feedback as part of your online submission.

For now, we have a project in the 10 Year Plan to improve the intersection of Cook Street and Park Road and the entrance to the Esplanade (programme numbers 1081 and 324, $1,486,000 in 2019-21). We also have a total of $1,942,000 in the plan to make other improvements within the Esplanade, so it's more pedestrian-friendly (programme number 1454, in years two, four, six, and eight to 10).

Other projects related to the Esplanade and river network are highlighted below.

Proposed actions Proposed timing Cost
Manawatū River framework implementation
Develop a linear park along the riverside so that each year there will be more things to do and more people will spend more time there. This includes work at Ahimate Park (programme number 752)
2018-28 $4,773,000
New bonsai house
Construct a permanent home adjacent to the conservatory for the city bonsai collection (programme number 1127)
2018-20 $110,000
Te Apiti-Manawatū Gorge masterplan
Council’s contribution towards improving recreation, biodiversity, cultural and educational opportunities at this unique location (programme number 1486)
2018-23 $100,000 per year
Te Motu o Poutoa-Anzac Park development
Work with Rangitāne to develop this reserve in a way that reflects its historic and cultural significance (programme number 560)
2019-21 $756,000
City reserves: Ashhurst Domain development
Provide additional recreational opportunities (programme number 1455)
2025-28 $601,000


Options and implications

Option 1 Option 2 Option 3 Option 4
Option Complete the Esplanade entranceway improvements in the short term, with other improvements in the medium to long term.

Complete the other Esplanade and river projects as scheduled above

Our preferred option
Complete all suggested projects, including the Esplanade entranceway improvements and other pedestrian improvements at the same time, i.e. in the short term Only complete some of the projects Status quo with no improvements
City implications A safer and clearer entrance in the short term, with a staged approach to other Esplanade
improvements to determine best options, based on the first round of improvements
Ensures all improvements are completed earlier This would depend upon which projects – as described above The Esplanade would be maintained but this would not improve visitor experience to the park or river
Financial implications Our 10 Year Plan includes provision for $9.6m of capital expenditure which would initially be funded from debt. Once complete this would add approximately $22 a year to the average residential rate, to service and repay debt. Each $1m of capital expenditure adds approximately $2.30 to the average residential rate, so if fewer of the projects are done the increase in rates will be lower than $22.



Our 10 Year Plan consultation process has now closed. Thanks to everyone who has provided us with feedback on our projects and the options we laid out for them.

We will be finalising the 10 Year Plan based on this feedback in June and will confirm the option chosen once this is complete.

6 April, 2018

Margret says:

“Don’t need more activities on walkway. Keep it natural, including Ahimate Park. Stopping through traffic in Esplanade would be good.”

4 April, 2018

Kylie S says:

“Anzac Park is in much need of TLC and could be an excellent draw for visitors if done right. River walk is fine as is. ”

4 April, 2018

Kate says:

“Walkway and Esplanade are great how they are. They need maintaining and the entrance way needs improving. They don’t need more things to do!”

3 April, 2018

Karen says:

“The river walkway is delightful as it is and doesn't need coffee carts and "more things to do". Limit these to the Esplanade area. ”

3 April, 2018

Kat says:

“Please don't build stuff in natural areas (river). Water fountains are ok, but signs and equipment turns nature into 'civilisation' again”

19 March, 2018

Rachel says:

“Do the projects and entranceway but not the pedestrian improvements. The esplanade is already pedestrian friendly. Also review Fitz / Te Awe”