28 October 2016
Parents and caregivers and the wider community are being urged to have their say about Waipa's playgrounds.
The council is preparing a longer-term strategy for playgrounds, based around the district's rapid growth. It has already unveiled a proposal for a new destination playground in Te Awamutu, but wants input from the community before further district-wide plans are formalised.
Community facilities manager Bruce Airey said the council is keen to ensure the right kinds of playgrounds, with the right equipment, is provided in places that will be of most benefit to the community.
"Across the country, councils are tending to provide fewer but better equipped playgrounds, often called destination playgrounds," he said.
"Those playgrounds include plenty of play equipment but also things like toilets, barbeque areas, trees and tables which encourage and enable families to stay for longer. A good example is the playground at Hamilton Lake but the question is 'is this what people want in Waipa'?"
Waipa District Council already provides 27 play areas throughout the district. Most are small neighbourhood playgrounds with limited equipment. They need regular maintenance and usually have a life-span of around 15 years before equipment needs replacing.
All up, the council spends around $70,000 each year on playground renewals and maintenance.
The council has already had a big response to an online playground survey, available on its website (www.waipadc.govt.nz/haveyoursay). The same survey has been provided in local newspapers and is open until November 25.
"We've had a lot of response so far but we've keen to get more. Playgrounds are an important piece of community infrastructure so let's make sure we get it right."