Mak­ing a splash for Xmas


‘‘Lily Elias, 10, said she thought it would be a good place for 'lit­tle kids to get rid of their en­ergy'.’’

Porirua’s long-awaited splash pad is set to open in time for Christ­mas.

Af­ter years of plan­ning, the tap will be turned on at the $910,000 wa­ter park on Fri­day, De­cem­ber 22, dur­ing an af­ter­noon of cel­e­bra­tions

‘‘This is the most an­tic­i­pated event this year,’’ Porirua Mayor Mike Tana said. ‘‘It’s going to be a big Christ­mas present for our city.’’

With wa­ter re­stric­tions in place around the Welling­ton re­gion, the park’s wa­ter is treated on site, and then re­cir­cu­lated.

Tana said the city’s chil­dren had been wait­ing a long time and it was the per­fect gift for the long hot sum­mer ahead.

The open­ing comes over a year af­ter the coun­cil re­leased the de­signs for the attraction. First mooted in 2013 by Porirua res­i­dent Elaine Thom­sen, the 250-square-me­tre splash pad has been built on the lawn of Aotea La­goon, off Pa­pakowhai Road.

Tana said the park would be a fan­tas­tic attraction for lo­cal fam­i­lies as well as visi­tors. It fea­tures three sec­tions geared to­wards toddlers, fam­i­lies and teens.

The toddlers’ area in­cludes low-level wa­ter squirters, mis­ters 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-me­tre-high wa­ter bucket dumper called the Su­per­splash. The attraction will op­er­ate dur­ing day­light hours that will vary through the year.

Mon­i­tor­ing sys­tems are in place, so if there are any wa­ter qual­ity is­sues it will shut off au­to­mat­i­cally, and land­scap­ing will cre­ate a grassed pic­nic lawn with ex­tra seat­ing and an em­bank­ment to pro­vide wind shel­ter.

Coun­cil­lor Ross Leggett said the coun­cil was thrilled to be able to open the splash pad in time for Christ­mas and sum­mer.

There had been 22 ex­tra car parks added to help cope with the ex­pected pop­u­lar­ity of the new fea­ture, he said.

On Thurs­day, 10-year-old Lily Elias said she was look­ing for­ward to be­ing able to cool down at the splash pad and thought it would be a good place for ‘‘lit­tle kids to get rid of their en­ergy’’.

The open­ing cel­e­bra­tion will run from 1pm till 3pm with free ice­cream, tea and cof­fee, and a sausage siz­zle, while sup­plies last.

There will also be mu­sic and rides on the minia­ture train for a gold coin do­na­tion.

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