Park Officially Opened


Selwyn Mayor Sam Broughton would like to see people using The Willows for many years to come.

The Willows, located at the end of Thompsons Road, off Old West Coast Road in West Melton, has been developed for non-motorised recreation activities.

The park was officially opened on Saturday, May 11th and Sam spoke about the importance of having such a space in the Selwyn region.

“May this place be somewhere that is enjoyed for generations to come by people young and old, human and animal too,” he said.

“The opening was well attended with many people coming to explore the tracks on foot and on bike,” Sam explained.  “There were a number of dog owners also interested to walk with their dogs along the river. The NZMCA spoke about working together as organisations to provide places for self contained responsible camping, something that Selwyn District Council is serious about,” he added.

The Park was developed by Environment Canterbury with support from Selwyn District Council, while the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association was also one of the key partners.

“It’s really cool to come to a project where it’s not just about one group of people doing something for the members of that one group,” Sam said.

James Page, team leader parks and forests for Environment Canterbury, echoed Sam’s thoughts.

“This park is a good example, and a case study really, of what can be achieved if multiple agencies work together with the private sector, as well,” James said.

Despite the overcast weather, more than one hundred people attended the opening, which featured a handful of speeches before Sam cut a ribbon and declared the Park officially opened.

Members of the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association attended with their motorhomes and caravans, while other guests traversed the walking and cycling trail. There was also a biodiversity walk hosted by Environment Canterbury regional park ranger Greg Stanley.

Selwyn District councillors Nicole Reid and Mark Alexander attended the opening, as well as Environment Canterbury councillor Tom Lambie.

Aside from the dedicated walking and cycling trail, there’s a range of great fishing spots and picnic facilities.

More than 1,000 trees were planted as part of the development of the area to aid the park’s biodiversity.


Daniel Richardson – Communications Advisor, Environment Canterbury.