Entry received from: Whangārei City Council
Category: The Beca Award for Placemaking

Pūtahi Park is a highly successful 1.1 hectare urban park located at the Whangārei City Waterfront on a culturally and historically significant site beside Hātea River. Adjacent to the internationally renowned marina and Hundertwasser Art Centre With Wairau Māori Art Gallery, Pūtahi Park provides a vibrant gathering place for events and recreation.

Key drivers for the new public space were connectivity, social interaction, and cultural identity. 

Extensive research and design workshops with tangata whenua, informed cultural and historical narratives that are integrated into the park layout, designs, and artwork. 

Pūtahi Park forms a strategic connection between the waterfront, central city and Hātea Loop shared path, with people moving safely through the park both day and night. 

Since opening in March 2022, regular events, from small market days and community events, to larger festivals and open-air cinema, activate the space and enhance user experience. 

The park's amphitheatre, large lawn, interactive water feature, play space, waterfront seating, shade trees and extensive planting continuously attract people of all ages and abilities. 

After many years of neglect and use as a 'temporary' carpark, this public space has been transformed into a unique space, enjoyed daily by the local community and visitors alike.

Thank you to our category sponsor