Lack of shade at playground
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.
Linear Point Park on a summer’s day.