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Source: Auckland Council

There’s a new hot spot in Pukekohe North.

The McShane Street playground has opened after a major refurbishment led by the community.

With the playground looking tired, the Pukekohe North Steering Group suggested the best people to ask what should happen were the children who used it.

At Christmas on the Marae in 2018, children got to tell planners what they wanted, with the designer returning last year with a plan reflecting the children’s desires.

With the designs ready but a completed park still months off, locals introduced Street Jams every week so the kids could still use the park.

When the work crews got started, they had a willing group of locals ready to keep the site tidy and safe.

Now the park has almost been completed and the community is happy to have its new playground in action.

Sadly the big dry over summer means the flying fox can’t be called into action yet because the grass that should have grown through the matting hasn’t appeared, and the matting doesn’t yet offer enough of a cushion should there be a fall.

The wire and seat elements have been removed to stop anyone rigging a make-shift flying fox.

Franklin Local Board chair Andy Baker says the flying fox will go in as soon as it is safe enough.

“The kids can get into already with what has been delivered and then they can have a second go when the flying fox is finished.

“Hopefully they won’t have enough time to get bored with the other stuff before that happens, which should be in a couple of months – weather permitting.”

He says the board is pleased with the outcome.

“Locals can be proud of their input into the playground. The people were really positive throughout and it’s been a great experience having local people tell us what they want in local areas.”