New Garden Progresses to Construction Stage

Construction has begun this week on a garden for Amberley’s Chamberlain Park. A modest garden was the initiative of the Hurunui district’s Youth Council to cement the sister district relationship forged between Changping and the Hurunui, and in particular the relationship between the young people of the two districts. A second garden will be included, commemorating the work and legacy of the late Rewi Alley.

The Hurunui District has always had a very special friendship with China through the legacy of Rewi Alley, who attended Amberley School which was once located in Chamberlain Park. Alley is one of the most revered foreigners in China where he spent 60 years working for the improvement of life for the Chinese people and the new garden will celebrate this.

Mayor Winton Dalley says the gardens are significant as they recognise our historic relationship with Rewi Alley and the part of his life spent on this site, and will celebrate the 120th anniversary of his birth.

“The garden and bridge projects on Chamberlain Park are not intended to be replicas of authentic Chinese gardens and bridges, but they will symbolise the mixing of two cultures. They will commemorate Rewi Alley’s life and the special relationship that has formed between the Hurunui and Changping districts and Honghu province as a result of his work.”

The gardens will include a new bridge over the existing stream and storyboards detailing Rewi Alley’s life and work. These features will be complemented by approximately 25 different native and Chinese plant varieties.

“The concept of the bridge over the stream is to link the two gardens and is also symbolic of the linking of our two districts and nations. China is our largest trading partner for agricultural products and increasingly significant to our local tourism industry, so a good economic and cultural relationship must be mutually beneficial” says Mr Dalley.

Following bridge installation, the path and landscaping will be completed, followed by planting and irrigation. The garden will remain fenced off during duration of construction to ensure the safety of the public. The garden is expected to be opened later this year with the grand opening scheduled for early December.