1.4.8 Design Theme for Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park

1.4.8.1 Purpose

The Designation Open Space Zone near Lake Waiwhakareke in the Rotokauri Structure Plan is labelled the Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park on the planning maps. This Appendix provides guidance for development within the Park.

1.4.8.2 How to Use This Guide

Applications for development within the Rotokauri - Lake Waiwhakareke Landscape Character Area as shown on the planning maps provide for an assessment against the guidance outlined within this Appendix.

1.4.8.3 Background

Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park represents a rare opportunity for Hamilton City to integrate a significant ecological restoration project within its current environmental, promotional, planning and development strategies.

The design intent is to create a key ecological hub within the City. This will not only provide for the well being of the flora and fauna that will live within it, but also for the well being of the City’s residents and visitors, through educational opportunities and amenity values it will provide.

Ecological viability and the need to meet the desires and aspirations of the community were key factors in the development of the overview concept for the park. This concept delivers both opportunities for recreation and community wellbeing by creating an accessible natural resource within the City. It also provides for the reintroduction of plants and animals that no longer inhabit the area.

1.4.8.4 Connections

There is an opportunity to create a significant link between the site and Hamilton Zoo. The entrances to the two facilities are located together to create a specific destination. This will allow integration between the facilities and permit efficient use of Council resources through shared use.

Specifically, the creation of a main entrance facility that would combine the entrance facilities of the park and zoo would mean that facilities such as administration, education and retail could be shared between the two amenities.

It is intended that facilities fundamental to the Heritage Park’s development and operation are developed on the eastern side of Brymer Rd, and those fundamental to the Zoo’s operation, or shared between the Heritage Park and Zoo, developed on the western side.

A number of important secondary nodes and potential access points have also been identified. These are located along Baverstock Road and Rotokauri Roads, indicating potential linkages for the community and Wintec. These nodes are important when considering the location requirements for community parks for Nawton and future communities that will establish as a result of the Rotokauri Structure planning process.

1.4.8.5 Design Overview

The Heritage Park concept involves the retirement and ecological restoration of approximately 50ha of farm land surrounding Waiwhakareke (Horseshoe Lake).

Key components of the concept include:

a) The creation of an eco-centre, in association with Hamilton Zoo, to act as the main entrance to the park, a tourist destination in its own right.

b) The reintroduction of indigenous flora and fauna to the site made possible by the use of predator proof fencing to enclose the site.

c) The development of a publicly accessible walkway network within the site and a cycleway around the perimeter.

d) While not part of this proposal, two parks will also be created for the local community.

1.4.8.6 Buildings

a) Buildings will be of contemporary architectural design, reflecting the purpose and function of the park and the zoo.

b) Buildings will be open to nature, providing opportunities for multi-functional use.

c) Construction techniques, cladding and roofing materials will follow sustainable design principles, for example cladding buildings in a mixture of natural timbers.

d) Building design will reflect the ecological themes of the park, yet provide for modern contemporary facilities.

e) Significant areas of canopy will be incorporated into the building design in order to provide shade and shelter.

f) A large membrane canopy, covering a paved plaza, will provide a sheltered environment for planting day demonstrations and educational opportunities.

g) At the main entrance to the park, an integrated facilities building will be constructed.

h) This will house interpretive material, indoor and outdoor demonstration areas, toilet facilities and provide secure storage for maintenance equipment.

i) Where possible, sustainable building principles will be used e.g. solar hot water heating, composting toilets.

j) Building colours should reflect nature and be chosen so that the building blends into its surroundings (e.g. brown tones).

1.4.8.7 Parking

a) The informal parkland at the main entrance between Brymer Road and the pest-proof fence can be used for overflow parking, and if required may be used for future car park extensions.

1.4.8.8 Main Entranceway

a) The Zoo and Park will be physically linked by a central pedestrian spine.

b) Entrance statements and traffic calming measures (decorative rumble strips along Brymer Road) will be used to slow traffic and create a sense of arrival.

c) Local iwi will be closely involved in the design and development so that recognition of this site and elements of pre-European Māori life are reflected in the park.

1.4.8.9 Furniture and Facilities

a) It is intended that any constructed elements within Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park be elegant and contemporary in nature, reflecting the processes and principles of the ecological design. All furniture should be designed specifically for the park and standard ‘off the shelf’ street furniture should be avoided.

b) Facilities and site furniture such as seating, rubbish bins, boardwalks and interpretation panels are to be contextually appropriate. This means that they appear linked to the overall concept of the design when seen within the context of the site. All design should be subtle and symbolic in nature. Literal interpretations should be avoided.

c) Seats – seats will resemble a stylised leaf shape and be constructed out of a renewable hardwood timber or recycled native timber, and a metal frame.

d) Rubbish Bins – rubbish bins will also resemble a stylised leaf shape, constructed out of sheet metal with profile cut and embossed patterns and textures that symbolise the indigenous flora and fauna of the Natural Heritage Park.

e) Boardwalk – the boardwalk network will be made of a renewable hardwood timber and detailed in areas of interpretation with the timber placed in a directional pattern (symbolising the patterns of a leaf).

f) Interpretation panels – the interpretation panels will be constructed of curvilinear sheet metal with profile cut and embossed images and text, and recycled native timber. The timber will incorporate Māori carvings.

g) Balustrade (for viewing platforms) – the balustrades will be constructed with curvilinear sheet metal uprights and steel rods in an overlapping stylised reed pattern.

Page reviewed: 17 Mar 2016 1:27pm