North­east play­grounds chal­lenged by Mayor

Hamilton Press - - WARRIORS HIT TOWN - LIBBY WILSON

‘‘Why wouldn't we do one play­ground well?’’

A two play­ground pro­posal for north­east Hamil­ton won sup­port de­spite a chal­lenge from the mayor.

A Te Huia play­ground in Flagstaff was part of Hamil­ton City Coun­cil plans and $906,000 - plus main­te­nance - was bud­geted.

Coun­cil now wants to split that be­tween Te Huia Re­serve and a sec­ond play­ground in nearby Hare Puke Park.

‘‘Why wouldn’t we do one play­ground well?’’ Mayor An­drew King asked at Tues­day’s com­mu­nity and ser­vices com­mit­tee meet­ing.

Other coun­cil­lors saw the plan as a smart use of coun­cil cash and sup­ported it in prin­ci­ple, but re­quested more in­for­ma­tion.

The money was ear­marked for a des­ti­na­tion play­ground planned for Te Huia, but Hare Puke Park is be­side the pro­posed Sylvester school site so a sec­ond play­ground could be a coun­cil - Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion part­ner­ship.

King pre­dicted half-fin­ished play­grounds half-fin­ished need­ing more coun­cil money.

Gen­eral man­ager of com­mu­nity Lance Ver­voort dis­agreed, say­ing, ‘‘they’ll just be a bit smaller than des­ti­na­tion play­grounds.’’

The Hare Puke de­vel­op­ment could be staged and out­side fun­ders will be ap­proached, staff said.

Sev­eral coun­cil­lors said the north­east is cry­ing out for fa­cil­i­ties. Ten voted to sup­port split­ting the bud­get and to be up­dated on de­sign and fund­ing plans in Septem­ber.

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