Have your say on neighbourhood playground renewals

The Playground at Lorna Irene Drive Reserve in Raumati is due for a full refresh this year.

The Kāpiti Coast District Council is refreshing three Kāpiti playgrounds over the next financial year, and is asking residents to have their say on what they would like to see.

Monique Engelen, Acting Parks and Recreation Manager, says each year a selection of playgrounds are upgraded for safety reasons, and it’s the perfect opportunity for locals to have a say in the future of their neighbourhood playground.

“We have 49 playgrounds in neighbourhoods across Kāpiti, and each year we upgrade a selection of them from across the district. We carefully monitor all our playground equipment to make sure it stays safe for everyone to play on. This is measured against national standards, and this coming financial year there are three up for renewal because some of the equipment’s reaching the end of its safe shelf life.”

Playgrounds up for a full refresh include Milne Drive Reserve in Paraparaumu, Lorna Irene Drive Reserve in Raumati, and Shotover Grove Reserve in Waikanae.

 “If these playgrounds are in your neck of the woods, we want to hear your ideas for what you want to see at your park. Have your say by completing the survey at the park, share your ideas online, or come along to our ‘Kōrero and Coffee’ events at each playground to have a chat to the team.”

Blue Gum Reserve and Edgewater Park will be getting replacement swings installed, and a double racing flying fox will be replacing the old model at Mazengarb Reserve.

Ms Engelen says once the ideas are gathered from the community, the next stage is coming up with designs that keep the playgrounds accessible, fun and varied.

“When we renew playgrounds, we do our best to make sure they cater for a wide range of abilities. They need to meet the needs of the children that play there, and their caregivers. That’s why we need to hear from the people that use them, and if they don’t use them we’d like to hear why too.

“Once we hear your ideas, we’ll look at the set budgets we have for each playground and aim to provide new equipment that meets the criteria, fits with what we can afford and meets community needs. Our team works hard to be creative to make sure we get the best solution with the money available.”

“Because the equipment has reached the end of its safe life it means, in most cases, it can’t be repurposed, but where possible materials will be reused or recycled if it can be done safely,” says Ms Engelen.

More information about the playground renewals, and the dates and times for ‘Korero and Coffee’ events can be found at www.kapiticoast.govt.nz/playground-upgrades. Surveys close 12 July 2021.