Situated in the middle of Waikato farming country, Te Pahu is a proud rural community. It’s possibly best known for being the home town of former Prime Minister Helen Clark, or perhaps the infamous toothbrush fence created by Graeme Cairns, aka Laird McGillicuddy, which featured in Flight of the Concords.
But for our team here at Playground Creations, Te Pahu is best known for being the place our director, Maree Clark was raised, so we were thrilled to have the opportunity to venture back to the base of Mt Pirongia to design a new playground for this wonderful country school.
Te Pahu School’s old, but much-loved playground, had come to the end of its life and was creating ongoing maintenance costs for the community. Situated on the site of a former tennis court, the playground was fraught with drainage issues – the soft fall was getting wet and turning into a very messy area.
We worked with the Te Pahu community to sort out the base works to solve those drainage issues and install new safety surfacing.
Standing at the gates of Te Pahu School, you can’t help but stop to take in the views of the beautiful Mt Pirongia in the background. We therefore wanted the mountain to play a major part in the design of the new playground, given the maunga’s significance to the community.
The new playground was built to accommodate all age groups, with a double bay swing that enables all abilities to play and enjoy. We also designed a mountain-themed cargo net and have room for a six-metre high rope net that will be installed during phase two of the playground plan.
It was an absolute privilege to be invited back to the opening of the playground and see the wonderful community spirit of Te Pahu in action!