Hundreds make a splash at pad
As hundreds of children celebrated the opening of Porirua’s new splash pad, the most excited person was a 75-year-old.
Four years after Elaine Thomsen lobbied the council to build a water park for the city, she was the guest of honour when the taps were turned on just before Christmas.
Accompanied by her granddaughter Izzy McKenna, Thomsen hoped others would be encouraged to speak up for what they wanted in their city.
‘‘I’d never done anything like that before and I’m just so happy today.’’
It was in 2013 that Thomsen first mooted the idea of a splash pad to then mayor Nick Leggett, having seen children enjoy a similar feature on the Ka¯piti Coast.
‘‘I said ‘have I got the deal for you’ and he was lovely and told me to put it down in writing, which I did.’’
Ultimately added to Porirua City Council’s annual plan, the park opened at a cost of $910,000 during an afternoon of celebrations.
The toddlers’ area includes lowlevel water squirters and sprays, while the family area has jets of water in a variety of shapes and sizes, a rainbow of misty water and a rainforest that pours water.
The teen area has spray cannons, in-ground water jets and a 6-metrehigh water bucket dumper called the Supersplash. The splash pad will be open every day over summer.
Porirua Mayor Mike Tana said the feature was the perfect Christmas gift to the city’s young people to enjoy the ‘‘hopefully long hot summer ahead’’.
Porirua woman Florence Mzila, who attended the opening with her daughter Elise, said the park was a great addition to the city.
‘‘It also means we don’t have to travel all the way up to Ka¯piti to use the one at Raumati.’’
Her friend Melissa Wimsitt said she knew of many families who also made the journey up the coast but who would now visit Porirua instead.
With water restrictions in place around the region, the park’s water is treated on site, and then recirculated. Monitoring systems are in place, so if there are any issues it will shut off automatically.