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Tranquil family-friendly space

By Beckie Wilson

[email protected]

The makeover of a Masterton reserve is part of a council project that hopes to bring together the community.

New signage has been installed at a green space at the end of Masterton’s River Rd that has been designated as a community area.

The East Side community project hopes to give meaning to the area and encourage residents to use the space for social events, such as picnics and family gatherings.

Masterton District Council’s Maori liaison Hoani Paku said the reserve, now named Wai-Rua aka The Junction, symbolised the journey of the Waipoua and Ruamahanga Rivers that flow on either side of the reserve.

“We wanted a symbol that would give unionship to people on the east side,” he said.

“Police initiated the clean-up of the area because they wanted to enhance an area that locals could use.”

The reserve was riddled with long grass and overgrown trees, and because of the location, it attracted questionable behaviour, he said.

“It will now invite people to use it in a family and sociable manner.”

The project is part of the council’s focus on improving and enhancing the environment and waterways.

The site also holds significant Maori culture history as it was once a site of birthing.

The Wai-Rua reserve is a two- to three-year project that now only requires beautification, Mr Paku said.

Makoura College students worked on the installation of two picnic tables as a school project last year.

With an estimated two years left to complete the project, Mr Paku hopes that not only Masterton residents, but people passing through the town will appreciate the space.

The reserve will be the first council venue to host a social event on Waitangi Day. There will be entertainment, food and activities for those turning up.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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