Hundreds of people turned out for the official opening of Rangatū Playground in Swanson.
Where once there had been just an empty field stands the new playground, which boasts a pendulum swing, tunnel, swing basket, hammock, carousel and more, catering for the surrounding population.
While the heavy rain in August prevented removal of a significant amount of soil and forced the original opening date to be postponed, there was a big turnout from the local community for the event which was officially blessed by Te Kawerau a Maki.
Waitākere Ranges Local Board Chair, Saffron Toms, says that the playground is a space that many families will make use of.
“It was a fantastic turnout for a fantastic playground, this will be a real asset to the local community which is growing all the time,” she says.
“We know the community have been looking forward to the opening for a long time, and their patience has been rewarded with a playground that will be the centre of the community for the foreseeable future.”
Te Kawerau a Maki
Council also worked with Iwi Te Kawerau a Maki on the project, which has had a significant impact on the final result.
"I'd like to acknowledge the huge contribution made by Te Kawerau a Maki to this project," says Auckland Council Manager Area Operations, Greer Clark.
"They were instrumental in their work with our project team on both the design and associated planting for the entire playspace, providing the name ‘Rangatū’ and the narrative associated with the name."
Further improvements still to come
There is more to come from the project too, with drainage work in March 2023 to improve the kick-a-ball space next to the playground set to take place.
Originally scoped as part of the project, escalating costs because of the pandemic meant that the drainage work had to be postponed. Funding has since been secured to undertake the work after the summer holiday.
“Understandably the community have been keen for this part of the project to be completed, so we are pleased that it is on the way and the field will be able to handle the wet weather next winter, so that’s great news," says Saffron.
“In the meantime, I know the playground will be really well used and enjoyed by the community and I’m delighted it has finally been opened.”
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