Nautical-theme adds to reopened park
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.