Nau­ti­cal-theme adds to re­opened park

The Northland Age - - Local News -

By Denise Piper

Kaitaia’s newly re­vamped play­ground won ap­proval from its most im­por­tant crit­ics: wha¯nau who will use the fa­cil­ity.

Jaycee Play­ground on Cen­ten­nial Park, bet­ter known as Jaycee Park, was of­fi­cially re­opened on Fri­day, a week ahead of sched­ule.

The up­grade to the play­ground in­cluded a nau­ti­cal-themed area suit­able for tod­dlers and more swings for all ages, in­clud­ing a par­ent-and-tod­dler swing.

Karis Roberts, 18, who at­tended the open­ing with her three younger sib­lings, said the re­vamped play­ground was a big im­prove­ment.

“I quite like how it’s got a play­ground for the lit­tle kids — be­fore it was quite hard for the lit­tle kids to go down the slide,” she said.

Micah Tawhara, from He Whanau Marama Trust and Shine on Kaitaia, said the re­vamp was an amaz­ing im­prove­ment on the play­ground, which was in­fa­mous for be­ing ‘more bark than park’.

The play­ground was a joint ef­fort be­tween Far North Dis­trict Coun­cil and Te Hiku Com­mu­nity Board, and the com­mu­nity, in­clud­ing mem­bers of the Friends of Jaycee Park Face­book page, she said.

Com­mu­nity board chair­woman Adele Gard­ner said it had been more than 40 years since the play­ground got an up­grade.

Coun­cil­lor Felic­ity Foy said the play­ground was the first step in trans­form­ing Cen­ten­nial Park into a “des­ti­na­tion park” for the town.

It was funded with Te Hiku Com­mu­nity Board’s $33,000 place­mak­ing fund and $20,000 from the board’s other sources. The coun­cil had com­mit­ted a fur­ther $52,000 to shared cy­cling and walk­ing tracks through the park. Far North Dis­trict coun­cil­lor Felic­ity Foy (front) and Te Hiku Com­mu­nity Board chair­woman Adele Gard­ner have been work­ing to­gether for a cou­ple of years to get the pro­ject swing­ing into ac­tion.

The Jaycee Park play­ground was of­fi­cially opened on Fri­day, March 8, a week ahead of sched­ule.

Five-year-old Waimarie Dunn gets plenty of joy out of the play equip­ment.

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