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Special opening event for revamped Landmarks Square

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Close to 50 people gathered at Landmarks Square last Friday night to celebrate the recently completed upgrade of this green oasis in the city centre.

Backing onto Fun Buns restaurant, the pocket park, half of which used to be a car park, has been transformed with all-weather artificial turf, a permanent stage, seating, planting, new toilet facilities, lighting and a spectacular sculpture ‘Prunus Awanui’ by local artist Philipp Meier, representing a cherry blossom.

The park honours the late Hastings mayor Jeremy Dwyer, who introduced the Landmarks philosophy in the 1980s, to fulfil his vision of bringing Hastings city back to life after difficult economic times.

His wife Marilyn Dwyer attended the square opening and said it was very special both for her family and for Hastings and the wider region.

“The sculpture by Philipp Meier is outstanding and has made this a very inviting and beautiful place to meet and enjoy the surroundings.

“Jeremy coined the phrase ‘people + participation = pride’ and said as much as Hastings needed economic revival; it needed perhaps even more a revival of the spirit of community.

“I believe this is what we saw on Friday and all praise to Mayor Sandra, councillors and the Landmarks Trust for continuing through to the development of this park.

“I do acknowledge there have been many, many people supporting and working hard through the years and to them I would like to say my personal thank you.”

Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst agreed that the event was very special and noted that cities do not stay the same, that they grow and change with the community.

“If we make our city beautiful, people will want to live here.

“We need to make sure we have spaces that reflect our community and the people we are in Heretaunga.”

Landmarks Square is the 10th of 23 projects in the Hastings City Centre Revitalisation Plan to be completed. The community was consulted on the revitalisation plan as part of the 2018-2028 Long Term Plan, and a budget set aside for a range of upgrade and beautification works in the inner city area.

6 September 2022

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