Lack of shade at play­ground

North Harbour News - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - AMY BAKER

A West Auck­land res­i­dent is call­ing lack of sun shade at a lo­cal play­ground ‘‘ridicu­lous’’.

Kristie Burns posted her frus­tra­tion about the play­ground at Hob­sonville Point’s Lin­ear Park, af­ter her first visit there around a week ago with her seven-year-old son. While she could un­der­stand es­tab­lished play­grounds didn’t nec­es­sar­ily have any­thing other than nat­u­ral shade, she felt it didn’t ‘‘make sense’’ for a rel­a­tively mod­ern play­ground not to have any.

As a coun­try con­cerned with skin can­cer, ad­vo­cat­ing for sun­block but not pro­vid­ing shade, wasn’t con­sid­er­ing wider pre­ven­tion mea­sures, she said. The Henderson res­i­dent said metal slides, as well as black rub­ber tiles used at other play­grounds, were also an is­sue and could be too hot to stand on or touch.

There are eight parks at Hob­sonville Point - com­pleted or un­der con­struc­tion - that have some kind of play equip­ment. Of th­ese, three, in­clud­ing Lin­ear Park, are vested with Auck­land Coun­cil.

Hob­sonville Point Precinct di­rec­tor Car­o­line McDowall said there are no shade sails at any of the parks, but two pocket parks had per­go­las over some of the seat­ing ar­eas. Trees have also been planted or re­tained for sun pro­tec­tion, and res­i­dent en­quiries about ad­di­tional shade at Lin­ear Park led to more trees be­ing planted in 2013.

Up­per Har­bour Lo­cal Board chair­woman Lisa Whyte said pro­vi­sion of shade wasn’t a set pol­icy, but felt it would be a in­creas­ing pri­or­ity with high skin can­cer rates. There had been no of­fi­cial com­plaints about Lin­ear Park, how­ever, the board would be sup­port­ive of a pro­posal if there was a need voiced, she said. Whyte said, nat­u­ral shade was gen­er­ally en­cour­aged as a more cost­ef­fec­tive op­tion, as shade sails re­quired on­go­ing main­te­nance and pos­si­ble re­place­ment an­other pres­sure on al­ready in­suf­fi­cient fund­ing re­sources.

Hob­sonville Point Res­i­dents’ So­ci­ety (HPRS) chair­per­son Er­rol Haarhoff said the so­ci­ety had been given feed­back re­gard­ing shade at the wa­ter park, where they were put­ting in a shade sail a so­lu­tion that could also work at Lin­ear Park. Ma­tur­ing trees would also help, he said. Only 29 of Auck­land’s 940 coun­cil play­grounds are pro­tected by shade sails, ac­cord­ing to Auck­land Coun­cil’s Ta¯ karo – In­vest­ing in Play Dis­cus­sion doc­u­ment.

KRISTIE BURNS

Lin­ear Point Park on a sum­mer’s day.

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