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New playground finds favour with under-fives

New playground finds favour with under-fives
March 9, 2004

North Shore City's first playground developed specifically for pre-schoolers is proving a popular meeting place for Devonport youngsters and their parents.

The playground in Wairoa Park was designed with the under-fives in mind and is fully fenced to ensure they stay safe.

Within the fenced-off area is play equipment including swings, a slide, climbing and adventure equipment, a large grassed area, landscape planting and seating for adults.

The playground was developed by the North Shore City Council parks team in close consultation with the Devonport Community Board and the local Plunket group. It is being officially opened by deputy mayor and Devonport resident Dianne Hale at the Plunket's annual fete being held at the park this Saturday, March 13.

The community board initiated the project and contributed $15,000 after it was approached by members of the local Plunket group.

The playground is right next to the Plunket rooms and heavily used by mothers with their young children, says the president of the Devonport-Belmont sub-branch of the Plunket Society, Marguerite Spencer.

"Children of that age need to be watched very closely in public places, so we were thrilled to be involved in the planning and to have somewhere like this where we can relax and know they are safe," she says.

The chairperson of North Shore City's community services and parks committee, Margaret Miles, says the council is working to develop more facilities for under-fives in the city.

"Most of our playgrounds are for five to 12-year-olds, and this is a first step towards developing better facilities where toddlers would be safe and happy, and where their parents could relax," Councillor Miles says.

Wairoa Road is one of several playgrounds being upgraded by the council around the city The finishing touches are now being carried out at what is set to become the city's premier playground at the north end of Brown's Bay beach reserve. The new play equipment includes a 'supernova' and a 'pentagon swing', which has already been installed and is proving popular. A ship's bow, board walk and wobbly bridge are currently under construction and will be linked to other play equipment with landscaping. Seating and a water fountain will complete the play area. Work is expected to be finished by the end of March.

"Once we're finished, it will be the sort of park people will travel across town to visit. This playground was featured at a Kidsafe seminar last year and identified as a good example of playground design," Margaret Miles says.

Work is also nearing completion at Stafford Park in Northcote where the playground has been replaced with new equipment, while work is about to start on renewing the playgrounds at Fernwood Park in Glenfield and Belmont Park in Devonport.


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