Putāruru Waterpark Refurbishment
It’s exciting times for Putāruru with a couple of projects underway already in 2022. One of the projects that is sure to excite this proud community is that of the Putāruru Waterpark reserve in front of the International Food Court.
The new refurbishment, which is a collaboration between Pride in Putāruru, Raukawa and Council aims to make a statement for passing visitors into this beautiful South Waikato township - something you won’t find anywhere else on State Highway 1 across the country.
The Waterpark project is split into two stages with Stage 1 occurring now. Gray Matter Ltd has been commissioned to interpret and incorporate the community feedback we received back in 2020 into a detailed design for the refurbishment works.
Stage 2 of this inspiring project includes the installation of two commissioned principal features as artistic representations of Ranginui, and Papatuanuku to align with a Matariki theme and the installation of a new water feature with bubble jets.
The image below is a detailed look of how Stage 1 will look once it is completed.
Update - 23 June 2022
As Matariki celebrations kicked off across the country, here in South Waikato we had our own festivities. Matariki provided a beautiful and appropriate backdrop to reveal the next steps of Stage 2 of the Putāruru Waterpark refurbishment.
The Matariki event organised by Raukawa Charitable Trust at Mangakaretū Marae, saw Pride in Putaruru and Council there in support. We were given the opportunity to share the exciting draft designs by talented carver Delani Brown.
Mr Brown was on hand to share his visions with kaumatua and kuia about the creation of two principle features as artistic representations of Ranginui and Papatuanuku to align with the Matariki theme.
This next step will be the finishing touches to the Putāruru Waterpark and give the Putāruru community a proud centrepiece attraction to bring travellers off State Highway 1 and stop to witness its beauty.
In revealing his work, Delani received positive and enthusiastic responses from those in attendance. We are awaiting an outcome on an application made to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Tourism Infrastructure Fund to see this vision come to fruition.
We are excited and committed to seeing this final stage take form. We want the community of Putāruru to join us on this all-important journey, reflecting Matariki in our town centre.
Update - 22 April 2022
The site fencing is down, and the area is open to the public - we understand there has been some concerns by members of the community around safety near the playground and its proximity to the road. We have installed temporary fencing near the playground on the Kensington St end.
It was quite nice to see a number of kids run in amongst the water jets! It's worth noting too, the water from the jets is being recycled as this is of importance to us and to many in our community.
There remains some minor touch ups to do - we have not yet removed the protective coating on the stainless steel river names - and there are some defects in the construction that need fixing (there always are unfortunately.) But essentially, Stage 1 of the Putāruru Waterpark refurbishment is finished.
Update - 14 April 2022
The works for Stage 1 are very close to completion, with the fence expected to come down by Tuesday (19 April) evening following which only minor touch ups here and there will be left to do.
It's important to note that the river name lettering still has its protective tape on in the photo below. Once the tape is removed, and the rest of the site is cleaned up, it should sparkle!
We're almost there. 😊
Update - Friday 8 April 2022
The installation of the interactive play equipment is complete. Part of the riverbed has now been cast in concrete with more concrete going in today. You can see the stainless-steel river names being put in place. Some artificial turf and plantings have started. It's all happening and we are still on track for completion before Easter.
Update - 1 April 2022
With the arrival of the block paving, at the beginning of the week, it is all go now on site. Currently we have block paving being installed, playground equipment being installed, artificial grass going in and new planting going in.
The block paving is expected to be completed next week following which we will be left with just the finishing touches to complete Phase 1
Update - 25 March 2022
We have now the block pavers we needed and as you can see from the photos, we have made good progress (despite the weather) on laying out the edge pavers, set in concrete, which define the boundaries between pathways, the river, planted areas and grassed areas. Paving will continue for the next couple of weeks at least but on Monday we will also be starting to construct the children’s play equipment. Onlookers will start to notice significant progress from now on until our forecasted completion date in mid-April
Update - 18 March 2022
Updates this week are brief as we are still waiting on the concrete pavers. The good news is we now have an alternative source within New Zealand and the pavers will be on site on Monday 21 March.
They will also start laying them on that date, so the upcoming week should see a bit of activity happening at the Waterpark from laying pavers, placing concrete edges, and continued work on the garden areas.
The only other change that is of note this week, is the contractors have started importing and spreading mulch as you can see by the image provided below.
Update - 11 March 2022
It’s been a busy week as the refurbishments at the Putāruru Waterpark begin to take shape. The bubble jet fountain system has been installed and tested. Hardfill importation is complete and placed /shaped to form the new contours. In addition to that, the concrete formwork has been laid out to the shape of the river flow route.
While the progression on the project has been great to date, we did however encounter a minor setback with the laying of new block paving set to have begun, but we are unable to place the concrete until the paving is done first. This is unfortunately a knock-on effect of Covid 19. The blocks we initially chose are still in Australia and we can’t get them out.
It’s important to note that the blocks for this project are specifically coloured and textured as opposed to ones we may have used previously and therefore are in short supply. We are currently looking for a suitable alternative which is currently available in New Zealand. It is critical to the overall design that we find a good colour match for the ones we originally ordered.
Update – 4 March 2022
Progress continues to be made on Putāruru Waterpark project with contractors working hard towards completing the first stage.
The timber retaining walls have been built and concreted into place while the original seats have been removed for refurbishment. The team continue to import more fill and topsoil, some of which has now been spread and levelled out around the site in preparation for their new surface finishes.
The installation of new paving and installation of support posts for the new children’s play equipment will be commencing soon and will be sure to our lovely Putāruru community posted on new updates.
Update - 25 February 2022
The works kicked off back in January with the site set up, demolition and excavation taken place by the main contractor Schick Civil Construction Ltd. In addition, they’ve completed recovering any existing materials for re-use, set out the new features and installed the water supplies and drainage systems.
Currently the team is working on importing the fill/topsoil and constructing timber retaining walls. There are positive signs that the first stage will be completed in mid-April and is currently within the $600k budget Council has funded.
It’s worth pointing out, the image released by Council through social media prior to construction beginning back in January was a concept, not an actual design. While the concept generated polarising feedback we apologise if this was misleading. The steering group which includes members of Pride in Putāruru, Raukawa and Council have identified the importance of liaising closely with local iwi, Raukawa on this stage to ensure the story is interpreted correctly. As we draw closer to this stage, all parties will endeavour to keep the community informed as things begin to take shape.
Waterpark updates can be found on Council’s website and Facebook page as well as your local newspapers South Waikato News and The Prattler.