Facelift approved for gateway to Invercargill’s premiere park

An artist’s impression of the new look Queens Park entrance.

Towering macrocarpas older than most residents, a grand gateway, and a splendid avenue.

Give this description to any Invercargill resident, and most will instantly be able to tell you: you’re describing Feldwick Gates – the entranceway to our award-winning Queens Park.

At a meeting of Invercargill City Council’s Infrastructural Services Committee on Tuesday, 7 June,  councillors voted to give the Feldwick Gates area a facelift, prompted by the need to remove some of the macrocarpas framing the gates.

Interim Parks and Recreation Manager Michele Frey said staff had been closely monitoring the trees for some time, and had commissioned an assessment by specialists in 2019.

“Sadly, some of those grand old dames need to be removed because they have become dangerous,” Ms Frey said.

“We know that Invercargill residents of all ages love visiting Queens Park, and the Feldwick Gates entrance is instantly recognisable with the lines of macrocarpa trees on either side.

“Rather than simply undertaking the removal work, leaving a reminder of the loss of the trees, staff have commissioned a landscaping plan which will bring new life to the entrance,” she said.

The plan includes removal of the carparks in front of the gates which will allow for paving, lighting, new gardens and trees, and seating.

“This new plan will allow us to recognise the important heritage and significance of the gates, while increasing ease of access and enjoyment for pedestrians entering the park,” Ms Frey said.

Six trees will be removed – three on either side of Feldwick Gates. Parts of the felled trees will be retained and reused where possible within Queens Park, possibly as sculptures.

Council staff had been, and would continue to work with iwi in relation to the design elements, and the removal of the trees.

The total project cost is expected to be about $370,100, and work will begin next month.

The Parks and Recreation team also plan further upgrades to the other entrances of Queens Park, in keeping with the Feldwick Gates upgrade. However, these works won’t be undertaken until at least 2021.