There have been a number of engagement phases undertaken to inform a concept design for the Kulim Park Upgrade.
At the initiation of the project in late 2017 council engaged with Ngāi Tamarāwaho, Ngāi Tukairangi, Ngāti Tapu and Ngāi Tauwhao, mana whenua for the Kulim Park site. The area around Kulim Park, including the Otūmoetai Pā was one of the main pre-contact population centres in Tauranga. The confiscation of the land following the great battles of Pukehinahina and Te Ranga in 1864 impacted the relationship between Mana Whenua and Otūmoetai. There is a rich opportunity to reflect the history and cultural values of the park through functional, interpretive and design elements as part of the redevelopment.
Prior to the development of a concept design, council held a ‘Picnic in the Park’ engagement event in December 2017 with interactive displays and submission forms for the community to provide feedback.
From the first round of engagement, key moves were identified, and a concept design was developed to engage with the community at a second open day at the park in April 2018.
From the second round of engagement it was noted that further design refinement was required and the final concept design would be made publicly available prior to tender. The concept design was further refined in May 2018, although this refinement was not made publicly available before the project was tendered in August 2018.
The tender price received exceeded the available budget and negotiations were undertaken which lead to a reduced scope of various elements of the design.
In early 2019 a review of the process was undertaken. In June 2019 Council decided to increase the budget for the project and undertake a third round of consultation.
Further changes to the design were made and shared with the community during the third round of engagement held in October 2019. At this time, an alternative option was presented by a small group of interested local residents. Two independent reviews of the design were undertaken.
At two council meetings in December 2019 and February 2020 council decided that the final design of the park upgrade would keep the road in its current location and potentially shorten it. An upgrade to the playground was added to the scope of the project. A shared pathway along the coastal edge also remains a feature of the design.
The project team are finalising the design for the park upgrade which will be available in late 2020. After being consulted on with the community, a new playground will be incorporated into the overall park design.