This one is for the kids
The redesign of Porirua’s most popular playground is almost complete, and it is also one of the first in the city to be declared smokefree.
The upgraded fort at Aotea Lagoon’s playground was reopened last Wednesday, coinciding with the launch of a new era in young people’s sporting, leisure and outdoor activities, said Porirua mayor Nick Leggett.
The council has worked with local health organisations, Regional Public Health and the Cancer Society in the development of the policy making all PCC playgrounds and sports grounds smokefree.
‘‘This one is for the kids. Council has always provided great facilities such as Aotea Lagoon that help keep our residents active and healthy.
‘‘ Now we’re taking it a step further by introducing the smokefree policy. We know from research that the more children and young people are exposed to people smoking, the more likely they are to think of smoking as a normal activity,’’ said Mr Leggett.
‘‘Our parks are places for children to be active, play sport and keep fit and healthy. It’s not appropriate they should also be places where children are exposed to people smoking.’’
Mr Leggett said the policy is in keeping with Porirua’s official status as one of the world’s most liveable communities.
The revamped park includes the new fort with a long tube slide and various climbing structures. The popular wide slide has been retained from the original.
A flying fox, four-bay set of swings, a jumping net and a whopping 7.4 metre wire rope tower that will link to the fort by a wooden bridge will be added in the new year.
The installation of seating and some landscaping will complete the upgrade.
Room 18 Plimmerton School pupils contributed to the design of the new fort and were excited to see their ideas become reality, teacher Kate Morgan said.
‘‘We got together and did some inquiry learning about what we did and didn’t like about the old playground.
‘‘They had an absolute blast brainstorming with the design team [at the council]. It’s really for them and it made the whole thing come alive.
‘‘I don’t think they thought this part [seeing their brainstormed concepts built] would happen,’’ she said.
Smokefree signs will go up in council-owned playgrounds and sports grounds including Aotea Lagoon, Ngatitoa Domain, Ascot Park, Adventure Park, and the Titahi Bay Beach Playground.
Our park: Students from Plimmerton School who contributed to the design of Aotea Lagoon’s new improved playground.