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Source: Auckland Council

Western Springs Lakeside Te Wai Ōrea Park has a brand new ecology-themed playground.

The renewed playground fits with its natural surroundings and includes play equipment and play zones suitable for children of all ages. 

The ecology theme comes from the Western Springs Lakeside Te Wai Ōrea Park Development Plan, funded by Waitematā Local Board and publicly consulted on in 2018. The board adopted the final plan in August 2020.

The board celebrated the new playground at an official opening over the weekend, alongside Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and the community.

The celebrations were opened with a karakia and waiata from Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, words from Waitematā Local Board Chair Richard Northey and the board’s parks portfolio holder Adriana Avendaño Christie, who thanked everyone for giving feedback and helping to shape the final playground design.

Families and children enjoyed free ice cream, a sausage sizzle, face painting, games and a coffee cart was onsite.

Waitematā Local Board Chair Richard Northey says the board is thrilled with the new playground.

“It was wonderful to stand alongside the community and Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei over the weekend to celebrate. We’re really proud of our new playground and we know children and families will enjoy it for years to come.”

The playground design fits with the key themes in the Western Springs Lakeside Te Wai Ōrea Park Development Plan; water, ecology, refuge, connection, events and history.

New and improved pathways meander between play zones doubling as beginner bike riding tracks, with natural elements, new seating and shade from new sails and existing trees featuring.

Accessibility has been prioritised with a combination of new surfaces and removal of steps and ridges to make sure wheelchairs, prams and those with impaired mobility can use the play area easily. 

The board’s parks portfolio holder Adriana Avendaño Christie says during the consultation, people could choose between an urban or ecology themed design.

“The ecology theme was by far the most preferred by the community for our new playground. We know people in Waitematā really value the natural environment and green spaces; so it’s fitting that our new playground reflects these values.”

The new playground is located on the zoo side of the lake closest to the Motions Road entrance to the park.

MIL OSI