Mayor Phil Goff became a Junky Monkey today, helping kids turn a load of old rubbish into a playground at Papakura’s Central Park.
Junky Monkeys is delivered by Conscious Kids for Out & About as part of the free summer activities programme funded by local boards across the city each year.
The material used was destined for landfill before Junky Monkeys turned it into building blocks for play spaces limited only by the imaginations of the mayor and his army of young helpers.
“It’s wonderful to see so many children here, turning trash into treasure. It’s amazing watching how their imaginations work, and what they create with items that would have been part of our landfill,” Phil Goff says.
“The other great thing to witness is that it seems like it is the more kids the merrier. They seem to feed off each other and it’s interesting how much they co-operate to create their forts and ball slides, their dog sleighs and tractors, and whatever else they think up.”
Conscious Kids director Maria Mariotti says the programme provides kids with chances for free play in nature while learning to respect the environment.
“Children need time to follow their own interests through play, the ideal pathway to meaningful learning. They need the opportunity to take risks and set their own challenges in order to become confident, capable adults.
“Learning about the natural world is essential for their wellbeing and ensuring a sustainable future for us all.”