This one is for the kids

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By ES­THER LAUAKI

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.

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