Young Jamie gives up gifts for playground
Waimauku’s newest kids’ hot spot is officially open.
Former prime minister John Key officially opened the wildlife themed playground, alongside Waimauku’s Jamie Harnett who decided he didn’t want any presents for his fifth birthday.
Instead, he wanted a playground in Waimauku.
Jamie had the honour of being the first child to go down the big slide.
He managed to raise $350 in September last year, contributing to the playground’s total cost of about $280,000.
Ever since the adventure playground was unveiled on February 25, ’’there’s been people there every day’’, Grahame Edmonds says.
The Waimauku Lions Club treasurer said the opening went very well, after a long wait to get where it is now.
The playground was largely funded by the Waimauku Lions Club, council, local businesses and residents.
‘‘The biggest thrill was all the mothers that came up to me and thanked us for building a playground.’’
The completion of the project is a rewarding feeling for the club, and the playground has turned out ‘‘better’’ than expected, Edmonds says.
‘‘I had a woman tell me that she feels it will be a focal point for people.
‘‘It will be a place to talk and to get to know everyone.’’
A few hundred people turned up to Freshfields Reserve to test out the slide, monkey bars and swings.
The opening was celebrated with a gala, live entertainment, stalls, a bouncy castle, a clown, food and drinks.
Kumeu-based equipment provider, Playco Playgrounds, was involved in the design and build process.
It’s theme is wildlife, taking inspiration from the Lions’ club logo.
The front features activities for young children and a jungle gym, a slide and swings in the middle with the back designed for older children, including a flying-fox.
The area is not lit up at night but there is shaded seating for sunny days.
The Lions club would like to add a barbeque and maybe a cricket pitch onto the reserve in the near future, Edmonds says.
The adventure playground is located on Freshfields Reserve, Freshfield Rd, Waimauku.
Kids enjoy the new Waimauku playground, inset, Jamie Harnett.