All seven council-owned splashpads across Tāmaki Makaurau will be open over summer for kids and their whānau (family) to enjoy.
“Kids love water play, and we are committed to give whānau across the Tāmaki Makaurau region opportunities for that to occur,” says Councillor Alf Filipaina, Chairperson of Auckland Council’s Parks, Arts, Communities and Events Committee.
“We are aware that 2020 has been an exceptionally tough time for all whānau and aiga (family), so allowing them to have some fun at our splashpads and enjoy themselves is important,” Councillor Filipaina added.
Dr Claudia Wyss, Director Customer and Community Services agrees.
“It is great for our communities to have these facilities open but we also acknowledge that we are still in a water crisis.
“Because of the water crisis, we have decided to delay opening the splashpads in parks for two weeks, and then once opened, the splashpads will be on reduced operating hours.”
The decision to open the splashpads at our pools and leisure centres was based on three reasons – the splashpads recycle a high percentage of water, the centres themselves have made significant water savings in the last nine months, and the splashpads play an important role in the community.
These are opened now at Stanmore Bay Pool and Leisure Centre; Lloyd Elsmore Park Pool and Leisure Centre; Tōia Ōtāhuhu Pool and Leisure Centre; and Moana-Nui-a-Kiwa Pool and Leisure Centre in Māngere.
The three splashpads located in a park are at Auckland Central’s Myers Park; Balmoral’s Potters Park and Waterview’s Waterview Reserve.
These park-based splashpads will be turned back on from Saturday 12 December.
Once turned back on, they will operate seven days a week between 10am and 8pm until Easter 2021.
Dr Wyss highlights that the park-based splashpads are also controlled by time control activator or passive infrared activators.
This means that the water usage of the splashpads is significantly lower than other water features, while still giving the community the chance for some summer fun.
However, to continue to save water, the region’s other water features will not be turned on at this stage.
This will affect some 58 features across Tāmaki Makaurau, including the water fountains at Mission Bay’s Selwyn Reserve and the city centre’s Albert Park, and the water features at Michael Joseph Savage Memorial Park.
Dr Wyss says that these water features are mainly aesthetic in purpose.
“These water features are also high water users and it is important that we keep saving water where we can.”
Claudia notes that while the water features are turned off, the council is taking the opportunity to implement improvements such as fitting drainage valves.
Community role of pools
Councillor Filipaina says that the centres and splashpads play an important role in the community, even during a drought.
“Having our centres open means our communities can come together to keep cool during summer.
“With entry free for those aged 16 and under, our pools are also a low-cost option for all the whānau and aiga.
“Why not don your lavalava or burkini and join your kids in some water fun on the splashpads.”
He has a message to those Aucklanders who have their own pools too.
“Please consider not filling your pool this summer while we are still in the drought.
“Instead come down with your whānua and aiga (family) or friends and enjoy summer at one of our centres.
“Not only will you contribute to reduce Auckland’s water consumption, you’ll also have fun meeting other people in your community.”