Concept of the Garden of Reflection

The concept of the Garden of Reflection initially came about when the district of the Hurunui signed a sister district relationship with Changping District, Beijing in December 2015. The leaders of both districts wanted to have a project that resonated the values of the sister district relationship, which has a primary focus to enhance the opportunities of the children and youth of both districts to be culturally aware and positive proactive global citizens, hence the Garden of Reflection has a young at heart and playful feel to it.

This is the reason for the selected location in Chamberlain Park, the garden overlooks the children’s playground and backs on the local Play Centre, an early education facility and is very child-friendly and safe area.

On November 16, 2016, a devastating earthquake struck the district of the Hurunui, the tranquil garden area of the proposed Garden of Reflection was seen as an appropriate place for people to come and sit to collect their thoughts in times when matters are beyond their control due to the forces of nature.

In March 2017 Honghu City, Hubei Province signed Sister City agreement with Hurunui District based on both the cultural and historical significance via the direct connection to Rewi Alley. It is considered an honour to have two sister relationships with China, and a special dispensation was sort for this to occur as protocols allow only one sister city or district relationship with a Chinese City or Chinese district.

The creek that meanders through Chamberlain Park and separates the two selected garden areas was ideal for a Chinese inspired bridge, a bridge has many different connotations, it can be seen to link the past with the future, the linking of people across the distance water, also a bridge allows the appreciation of different cultures, architecture and how mankind has progressed through the centuries.


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