Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


‘Magical’ Playground Proposal A New Zealand First

The country’s first fully accessible playground could soon find its home in Hamilton.

At a Community Committee meeting on Thursday, Hamilton City Council agreed to partner with Magical Bridge Trust (NZ) to develop a universally accessible playground.

The Hamilton-based trust proposes to build ‘the world’s most accessible’ playground at Claudelands Park, replacing an existing playground due for renewal.

Not only would it be a safe place to play for people of all physical capabilities, but it would also incorporate the needs of people with intellectual disabilities, people with autism, and sensory, visual, and hearing impairments.

Community Committee Chair Councillor Mark Bunting said this was a chance for Hamilton to be bold and innovative in its inclusivity.

“The beauty of these designs is they truly consider all capabilities, including neurodivergent needs, intellectual disabilities, and sensory impairments. We know some families might avoid our traditional playgrounds if their children don’t feel comfortable playing there. But everyone should be empowered to play – this could be a rare and magnificent opportunity for the city.”

One in four New Zealanders lives with a disability, with more than 120,000 living in Waikato.

“These are among the most creative and accessible playground designs in the world and soon we could have one in Kirikiriroa Hamilton. This a chance for us to fly above the rest of the country – let’s do this.”

The 11000sqm proposed playground will have themed zones, including a slide zone, sensory zone, swing zone and spinning zone.

Hideaway huts, buddy benches, and gathering spots to play and relax will be fun play spaces. It will also have fully accessible amenities such as changing rooms, along with improved parking.

The design would also consider specific colours for pathways and zones, planting for sensory purposes, braille on signage and equipment, and user facilities such as shade and drinking fountains.

Funding for the project is budgeted to cost $3.5 – $4 million, with Council contributing up to $1.2 million from its renewal budget for the existing playground.

The Trust has committed to raising the rest through grants, sponsorships, and collaborative fundraising.

Once completed, the partnership between the Trust and Council will continue with Council establishing a repair and maintenance programme. Meanwhile, the Trust will manage and coordinate promotion, marketing, event management, and educational and entertainment activities.

Mayor Paula Southgate said the playground was an “absolutely fabulous concept”.

“Families with children who have accessibility issues will be counting the days until it’s built and we will be counting along with them.”

Staff will report back to the Community Committee on location and construction timing, and Council would seek community feedback on its plans before continuing.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Government: Traffic Light Levels Announced

The levels at which different parts of New Zealand will move forward into the COVID-19 Protection Framework this Friday have been announced. Northland, Auckland, Taupō and Rotorua Lakes Districts, Kawerau, Whakatane, Ōpōtiki Districts, Gisborne District, Wairoa District, Rangitikei, Whanganui and Ruapehu Districts will move in at Red... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Why An Attack On Iran Is Back On The Agenda

Reportedly, Christopher Luxon has the edge on Simon Bridges in National’s leadership contest although there is no firm evidence for that hunch. So, one hesitates about joining a media echo chamber that amplifies Luxon’s chances ahead of the 3pm caucus meeting today. You know how it goes: Luxon doesn’t quite have the numbers, so his people start talking to the media to make him seem like the smart bet. Or even perhaps: Luxon hasn't got the numbers, and his people start talking to the media to talk up his support so that he gets a nicer consolation prize... More>>


Government: New Law Will Clear The Air For Tamariki In Vehicles
From today, it’s illegal to smoke or vape in most vehicles carrying children aged under 18 years old - whether the vehicle is moving or not. “Second-hand smoke poses an unacceptable risk to our tamariki and rangatahi,” Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall said... More>>

Government: Workplace Vaccination Requirements Extended To Cover Police And NZ Defence Force

Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today that workplace vaccination requirements will be extended to include the New Zealand Police and Defence Force in preparation for the transition to the new COVID-19 Protection Framework on 3 December 2021... More>>

RNZ: Judith Collins removed as National Party leader
Dr Shane Reti is interim leader of the National Party after Judith Collins lost a no-confidence vote. Simon Bridges was demoted and stripped of all portfolios over allegations of an inappropriate comment made five years ago at a party function. Judith Collins was voted out as National's leader today after the party was locked in a caucus for more than three hours... More>>

AUT: Aucklanders Are Less Concerned With Covid
In reaction to commentary that Aucklanders are at breaking point after more than 100 days in lockdown and that compliance with the rules is under threat, AUT Emeritus Professor of Sociology Charles Crothers says... More>>

National: Launches First Step To World-class Tech Sector

Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins says technology will create exciting careers and higher paying jobs and has the potential to transform the New Zealand economy... More>>

Council For Civil Liberties: Disgraceful Government Secrecy On Vaccination Certificates As Legislation Rushed Through
On the eve of legislation to enable vaccination passes being rushed through Parliament under urgency, the Minister has said it will not publish the relevant policy papers until ‘late January 2022... More>>




InfoPages News Channels