Youth have say on play­ground up­grades

Central Leader - - NEWS - By TOM CARNEGIE

It’s out with the old and in with the new as youth help re­design play­grounds in Maun­gakiekieTa­maki.

Old equip­ment at Konini Re­serve, Flat Rock Re­serve, Com­mis­sariat Re­serve and Jor­dan Park was re­moved this week. The new im­proved ver­sions will be rolled out over the next two months.

Feed­back from lo­cal schools and the Maun­gakiekie-Ta­maki youth panel has been re­ceived by the lo­cal board, with each play­ground en­gag­ing the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment and of­fer­ing a range of play op­tions.

The youth panel was set up in 2013 to bring younger per­spec­tives to lo­cal board and coun­cil is­sues. Twelve peo­ple be­tween 15 to 24 years old make up the panel.

Brett Clark, who holds the park, sport and recre­ational port­fo­lio for the board, says the idea is to build in­no­va­tive play spa­ces that of­fer some­thing for all ages.

He says the up­grade to the four parks has a cost of around $500,000 and will be com­pleted by July 1.

Lo­cal board chair­man Simon Randall says play­grounds and parks have al­ways been im­por­tant places for the com­mu­nity to meet. ‘‘ We worked with young peo­ple from around the com­mu­nity as to what they wanted, so each play­ground is dif­fer­ent and unique,’’ Randall says.

‘‘For in­stance, the chil­dren living close to Com­mis­sariat Re­serve wanted a trail for their scoot­ers and open spa­ces, so that is what has been in­cluded.’’

Konini Re­serve play­ground is to be built within the nat­u­ral gully of the park. It will in­clude a bank-slide, tree-deck, step­ping stones and a rose gar­den maze with play items de­signed to be used in­di­vid­u­ally or as a cir­cuit.

Flat Rock Re­serve will have a large climb­ing frame, bas­ket swing and spin­ner all cen­tred around a raised ar­ti­fi­cial turf mound which will pro­vide a hang­out space.

A small play­ground will be built at Com­mis­sariat Re­serve, pro­vid­ing spin­ning and swing­ing ac­tiv­i­ties with a fig­ure-eight foot­path for scoot­ers, trikes and bikes. It will all cen­tre around a raised ar­ti­fi­cial turf mound pro­vid­ing hang-out space and a pic­nic area.

Jor­dan Park will have a sand­pit, bas­ket swing and tram­po­lines over­looked by a raised ar­ti­fi­cial turf mound pro­vid­ing space for cre­ative play.

Photo: ELESHA ED­MONDS

Fire in­ves­ti­ga­tors say the early morn­ing house fire was sparked by care­lessly dis­carded cig­a­rettes.

Photo: TOM CARNEGIE

Maun­gakiekie-Ta­maki Lo­cal board mem­ber Brett Clark says the new Com­mis­sariat Re­serve play­ground will cater for all ages.

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