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Modellers’ Pond at Te Pā Harakeke

Helping restore a recreational and stormwater asset for the Tahunanui community

  • $2M+


  • 6.5K

    Cubic Metres of Recycled Filler

  • 300+

    Long-fin Eels Moved

  • Nelson, New Zealand

    Nelson, New Zealand

Blending recreation and resilience to create a thriving community asset

In Whakatū Nelson’s coastal suburb of Tāhunanui, the Nelson Society of Modellers’ live steam railway and Modellers’ Pond have been popular attractions for both locals and visitors since the late 1950s. Over time, the pond’s use became limited, suffering from silt build-up, thick weeds, and odorous algae. After years of dealing with these issues without resolution, Nelson City Council (NCC) engaged our team to develop a solution that would restore the pond’s function as both a recreational and stormwater asset.

While NCC had attained another design that involved lining the pond in concrete and installing a mechanical scrapper, the design hadn’t achieved unanimous approval to proceed. We opted to go in a different direction with our proposal, one that involved filling in the pond and discharging the stormwater through a separate planted swale, following upstream treatment. Nelson City councillors voted to overturn the concrete-lined option and proceed with our solution.

We worked closely with landscape architects to create an overall design for the site that would embrace its coastal location. This included a new park, Te Pā Harakeke, which can be partially inundated during high tides and includes considerations for both future coastal erosion and sea level rise impacts.

NCC’s dedication and efforts have helped create a unique recreational asset for the community and improve the quality of stormwater discharge into the coastal environment.

At a Glance

  • Nelson City Council
  • Boffa Miskell, Nelmac, Hynds,
  • Taylors Contracting,
  • Ching Contracting,
  • Canopy Landscape Architects
Recreation Aotearoa, Healthy Park of the Year 2023
CCNZ Nelson Marlborough Awards, Project Category 3 ($750,001-$2M)
Meet Our Team

Kathryn Halder, Principal Environmental Scientist

It’s important we learn from the choices of our past to ensure we minimise the risks associated with how we use our lands in the future.
Kathryn Halder Principal Environmental Scientist Read More

Kathryn Halder

Principal Environmental Scientist

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