Manurewa serious about having fun

Publish Date : 12 Oct 2023

Making sure kids have somewhere to play has seen Manurewa Local Board adopt a plan to guide decision-making on priorities. 

“You don’t just decide to put a playground or a park somewhere,” board chair Glenn Murphy says.

“You have to ensure its where it’s needed, where the growth is or where the gaps are, so that you are making the most of the money you have to spend.

“The Manurewa Play Network Gap Analysis sounds pretty technical but it’s just a way of knowing the places that might be missing out so that we can do something about it.”

The plan cost the board $30,000 and will help the board shape a play network of well distributed spaces that cater for the whole community. 

“Every playground was assessed to determine play experiences and what ages are catered for, and the findings have already identified gaps in youth, wheeled, all abilities and other facilities across the 53 playgrounds we already have in our area.  

“We aren’t going to improve things overnight, but the plan has already identified that we need to focus on the Clendon Community Centre Reserve, Manu-pukatea-Felicia Park, Rowandale Reserve, Tairanga-Tington Park and at Totara Park, specifically at the Children’s Neighbourhood Park.

“It’s also identified several gaps at a neighbourhood level, at Greenmeadows Reserve, Iwinuku Crescent, Carnoustie Drive, Mountfort Park, Peretao Rise, The Gardens, Scotts Road and the need for future public open space within the Wirihana residential development.”

Murphy says play can be taken for granted, especially by adults, but it’s a major part of of a child’s development.

“There is not much else as critical when you are little as play. It’s essential for development and well-being and develops creativity and imagination while building physical and emotional strength.

“It’s also great fun – and we think that’s worth investing in.”

Manurewa has 53 playgrounds, most aimed at those up to age eight, with few for those 13 and up. The majority have standard play experiences - jumping, spinning, rocking, swinging, balancing and creative/imagination play, with low specialised play provision - water, sand, sound, nature, accessible play, fitness, wheeled play and courts.  

Only about a quarter have some form of all ability or accessible play elements, and there is only one dedicated accessible playground.

Manurewa Play Network Gap Analysis here.

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