Coming together . . . Waimate2gether's project to restore the White Horse monument area, including the construction of new viewing platforms, toilets, a car parking area, landscaping, and new signs and information panels on the history of the South Canterbury town, is almost finished. PHOTOS: REBECCA RYAN/SUPPLIED

The end is in sight for the team behind a project to breathe new life into Waimate’s White Horse monument.

The redevelopment of the area by community group Waimate2gether, was due for completion at the beginning of April, when the final plantings should be finished, project manager Jo Sutherland said. A community planting was being held on April 10.

‘‘We’re nearly there, just got the last couple of seats and tables going in, and then we’ve got all the planting to do . . . We didn’t want to do it any earlier, because it’s too dry.’’

The project included the construction of viewing platforms, new toilets, a car-parking area, landscaping and new signs and information panels on the history of the South Canterbury town.

The White Horse itself had also been lovingly restored, and was awaiting its final coat of glow›in›the›dark white paint, courtesy of Resene.

The goal was to have a large community opening in May, in the hope Covid restrictions would have eased and all groups involved in the project could gather, and celebrate, Mrs Sutherland said.

The area’s three local kindergartens, six primary schools and Waimate High School had created their own decorative pou which, when all in place, would be ‘‘gorgeous’’.

‘‘They’re all about who was in the space, who’s in the space now, and who will be in the place in the future,’’ she said.

‘‘And we’re going to have QR codes on each pou that take you back to the school, that explains the values, and the meaning and what the pous are about for each individual school.

‘‘So that’s cool . . .They’re beautiful bits of art.’’

There was also a pou coming from Christchurch, based on the two chief wives of the district.

The project had received funding from the Department of Internal Affairs and Waimate District Council, with contributions and time donated by other community groups. The government funding was more than $420,000, while the council’s financial input had been $20,000.

It had been about two years since community consultation first began on the project, and Covid-19 had impacted supplies and increased costs, Mrs Sutherland said.

‘‘We probably wanted to do it quicker, but I think we’re doing pretty well.’’

The intention behind the project was to make it a nice place for people to come to — but also one which reflected the heritage of the area.

The place was already attracting extra visitors, who were loving what had been done, especially the viewing platforms, she said.

‘‘You’ve got beautiful views of South Canterbury and you can walk, bike or drive there . . . and having information up there, yeah, everyone went up there, but there was nothing telling them about the horse or about the area — you know we’ve built in all the history of it.’’