Do­main train to be shunted out in up­grade

Ruapehu Press - - Your Paper, Your Place - FRANCES FER­GU­SON

Safety is­sues have prompted the Ruapehu District Coun­cil to look at re­mov­ing a pop­u­lar train slide from the Tau­marunui Do­main Play­ground.

Time is tick­ing for the train - a pop­u­lar fea­ture which serves as a slide and other fun ac­tiv­i­ties.

Even though it is a well-known fea­ture of the park, a coun­cil re­port de­scribes it as of­fer­ing very lim­ited op­por­tu­ni­ties for chil­dren’s devel­op­ment. Main­te­nance costs and on­go­ing van­dal­ism has put the train firmly in the spot­light. Coun­cil­lor Karen Ngatai said the train re­flected an im­por­tant part of the town’s his­tory.

‘‘I ac­cept it has cre­ated a lot of prob­lems for us but I would re­ally like to see it moved some place and not just got rid of.

‘‘Could we give it an op­tion for a school at their cost to have it?’’ she said.

Coun­cil­lor Kim Wheeler said it was time to move for­ward with the coun­cil’s plan on up­grad­ing the do­main to a mod­ern space for the com­mu­nity.

‘‘There was a huge out­cry about the rocket dis­ap­pear­ing and ev­ery­body said it was iconic.

‘‘It’s just a place for some­one to go to the toi­let.’’

Com­mu­nity Ser­vices group man­ager, Mar­garet Hawthorne said con­struc­tion of the train would make it dif­fi­cult to re­lo­cate it to an­other site.

Coun­cil­lors dis­cussed the pro­posal of an up­grade to the do­main at the Tau­marunui-ohura Ward Com­mit­tee re­cently. The Ruapehu District Coun­cil has ap­proached Play­ground Cre­ations for a pro­posal and quote for the Tau­marunui Com­mu­nity Park Play­ground. Con­cept de­signs in­cluded var­i­ous pric­ing op­tions for six recre­ational zones which can be com­pleted in stages as the bud­get

‘‘It's wide open for devel­op­ment and I'm fully sup­port­ive.’’

al­lows. The de­sign has been themed around Ruapehu’s three vol­canic moun­tains, its walk­ing tracks and cy­cling trails. Com­mu­nity Prop­erty team leader, Re­becca Van Or­den recommended the en­trance to the park be de­signed last so it would fit into the theme of the re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion project in the cen­tre of town. Coun­cil­lor Cos­ford said it was the most ex­cit­ing devel­op­ment he had seen in a long time.

‘‘It’s wide open for devel­op­ment and I’m fully sup­port­ive.’’

Coun­cil­lor Graeme Cos­ford and Ngatai will form a sub­com­mit­tee to progress the up­grade.

FRANCES FER­GU­SON / FAIR­FAX NZ

A 3D view of the pro­posed Tau­marunui Com­mu­nity Park Play­ground.

The train would be re­moved with the up­grade due to safety con­cerns.

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