An example of an urban park in Hamburg, Germany. Photo: Supplied.

Inner-city park mooted for Nelson


A mothballed proposal for a destination playground in Rutherford Park could be scrapped to make way for a new central city park.

Nelson City Council has adopted its consultation document for the 2019/20 annual plan, in which city centre development is a major focus.

As part of this focus, it is proposed to create an urban park to bring people into the city centre for longer periods of time.

To do this, it is proposed to relocate the $20,000 set aside in the Long-Term Plan for the Rutherford Park playground, to developing an inner-city park – as enhancement of the city centre is considered a “higher priority”.

Last year, Nelson Weekly reported that council were still hoping to fulfil shelved plans to build a playground in Rutherford Park – although it was not known what the project would entail.

The playground was first proposed in 2015 and has been heavily supported by the public over the years.

Last September, Nelson mayor Rachel Reese also mooted converting one of the inner-city carparks into a large urban greenspace – which drew mixed feedback.

She questioned whether the inner-city car-parks, including Buxton, Montgomery and Wakatu, were making the best use of “flat and sunny” land.

“It is scarce in the city, and I’d rather we made it for people, rather than for single-level car occupancy,” she told Nelson Weekly.

Clare Barton, group manager environmental management at council says, as they are still working through the consultation phase, they have no indication of what an urban park for Nelson would look like, or where it would go.

“Council’s discussions on this matter recognises the need for flexible inner-city spaces for relaxing and events where people can linger longer, and which will contribute to the vision of the city centre as a social hub,” she says.

Nelsonians can have their say on the idea by making a submission to the 2019/10 annual plan consultation document.

Public consultation opens this Friday, 29 March, and runs until 2 May. You can make submissions online at or by using the form at the back of the document.