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Schools | Kura Projects

Maunga-inspired playground design for
Te Pahu School

The Ground
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.

The Creation
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.

The Play
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!

Te Pahu School students are loving their new playground! 

“An absolutely fabulous company to work with. Super easy and a fantastic product for enjoyment for our learners for years to come. The personal service was outstanding. Thank you!”


Merivale School playground

Result: Encompassing height, challenge, extension and balance, Playground Creations’ design of Merivale’s playground had collaboration at its core. The central tower has quickly become a meeting area for students engaged in play, providing inspiration for further magic to take place.   

Constructed over the school holidays to minimise disruption of the learning environment, the playground has quickly become an asset enjoyed by students – and teachers – of the school. 

Testimonial: “The playground has been a real hit. Intervals see the majority of our senior students challenging themselves on the various pieces of equipment. They love the tower and it's seen as a meeting area. The senior students came up with a playground code on how it should be used. Their ideas aligned very well with our school values. "Safety First and be Respectful". Thank you once again. 

Heather Langley  |  Deputy Principal, Merivale School

St Albans School playground

Vision: The foundation of the design was to develop a cultural narrative ensuring the aspirations of Mana Whenua were interwoven throughout and reflected in the playground.

Result: St Albans School recently celebrated the opening of their amazing new playground - Te Arawai. In conjunction with Ngāi Tūāhuriri. 

We were excited and proud to be part of the team who have created an amazing play space. Playground Creations supplied and installed the Whare tower module - stainless steel slide, wobbly log bridge, climbing walls, dangling pommels and shade sails. Stilts, turn bars, wavy bars and hoops were also installed by our team.

It was a great team effort by everyone, including Park Central, Steve Bailey Project Manager, Trademark Paving and Playtop NZ.

Bethlehem School playground

Its been an exciting year for the students at Bethlehem School as they saw three new play spaces come to life.

With the playground planning - student voice was important to ensure students of all ages and abilities got the play they deserve.

The Playground Creations team got busy and are proud of the finished play spaces
1.  Playgound Creations circuit playground with spinning carousel
2.  Swing zone
3.  Kaebel Leisure Cellula module

All the hard work has now been completed and it was the perfect day for the students to try out the new playground. Seeing the playground in action and the smiles on the students faces said it all. Thanks Bethlehem School we have loved working with you on this project.

The Kaebel Leisure Cellula is a modular play concept which can be combined into a limitless variety of designs. The students loved it, as it provided a different play experience to be enjoyed at the school.

A great team effort by Playground Creations, Kaebel Leisure and Team Turf.

Tauriko School playground

Vision: An addition to our current outdoor play area to incorporate vibrant, challenging and fun activities to be enjoyed by our primary students.

Result: Total success! The double activity nets and double swing set have absolutely achieved what we wanted to achieve. 
Tauriko School students in Tauranga returned to school at the start of Level 2 to find a lovely surprise, with double climbing activity nets and a double swing set ihaving been installed just prior to lockdown.

The delight and joy on the children’s faces was priceless and truly a bonus for not only the students, but also for staff, as it helped to make the level 2 return even more special. 
The School Council, Board of Trustees and the PTA of Tauriko School really wanted to see an improved outdoor play space for students, with a focus on climbing structures and swings. So after much fundraising, the results speak for themselves. 

Thank you Playground Creations, for your flexibility and advice while we were determining what would be best for our school and for your outstanding organisation and communication throughout the project. 

Meadowbank School playground

A new senior playground for the students at Meadowbank School was one of the exciting projects for the school in 2019.

Playground Creations got straight onto the job, visited the site, listened to the brief and presented a playground concept that worked for the school. 

The school were delighted with the result. A playground that sat perfectly on the school site, provided loads of play value, accommodated large numbers of students and was of excellent quality.

The playground components were designed to create;

  • Safe and long-lasting playgrounds using New Zealand timbers
  • Fabricated galvanised steel work, powder coated to the colour of their choice 
  • Quality synthetic galvanised steel ropes 

The whole process was made easy with the Playground Creations team who installed the playground within budget and on time. Playground Creations playgrounds are made to last, so are our relationships with our customers.

Te Akau ki Papamoa School playground

A new play space that links to the vision of Te Akau ki Papamoa School was an important part of the brief when designing a junior and senior playground for students.

The final design embodies history, heritage and connection with the local surroundings which was the perfect excuse for our teamto get creative. 

In the space we ensured we worked around the trees and included the three whales to recognise the importance of local legend (Pakiwaitara). One of them has its very own water spout which was a special surprise for the students. 

Spotlight on Rototuna Junior High playground

Working with the students at Rototuna Junior High gave Playground Creations the perfect opportunity to get creative.

Following the brief provided by the students, it was important to include equipment that encouraged socialisation, team-work and challenges, together with play equipment for increasing student numbers and to cater for all abilities.

The kahu was regarded as good luck if it was seen flying overhead during a tribal meeting, so this was incorporated in the playground design along with eel balance logs and native plantings.

The result is an outstanding play space that provides an exciting variety of equipment and seating for use during school breaks and class time.

Tahatai Coast School playground

Playground Creations nailed it! Our playground is challenging and engaging, it supports creative play and cleverly maximises the space. 

From design to build, we found the team highly professional, knowledgeable, patient and adaptable. 

The result is outstanding!

Golden Sands School playground

Working with Golden Sands School in Papamoa, to create a playground for all ages at a school with growing numbers of students, was an exciting project.  

A school with a clear vision for the playground build helped this along. A detailed brief was given on site, together with the positioning of the playground.  

Due to the location, a seaside theme was a must and the students dreamed of a tower they could climb, hoping to glimpse the sea from the top.

The theme created had key features including a boat, tower with thatched roof and tube slide for an ultimate sliding experience. Natural play was incorporated to encourage imaginative and social play experiences, together with a good variety of overhead, climbing and balance activities to ensure students get the play activities they need to learn and grow. 

The playground stands proud finished in purple and gold – the school colours.

Puahue School playground

A new playground has been created for the students at Puahue School to ensure they get the play they need to challenge themselves mentally and physically.

Puahue School were very clear with their brief. It needed to packed with play value – balance, climbing, slides and overhead activities, whilst being robust and have little ongoing maintenance.

We listened to their ideas and shared our knowledge and experience purposefully and installed a new  playground that worked with their school colours that gave it the punch of playfulness they were hoping for.  

Puahue School students are going to have loads of fun! 

Hamilton East School playground

Thinking playgrounds? Lets get creative...

Design work for a new playground at Hamilton East School, different to the other play spaces around the school, got us thinking of a modular play concept, designed to challenge the students’ body and mind. 

This play system caters for all age groups with low and higher level activities that will see students moving in creative ways.  

The blend of different textures with artificial grass, a sand pit and natural play elements completes the play space and suits the site perfectly.

View Road School playground

“Playground Creations worked so well with our students and playground committee, involving everyone in the process in a respectful way. 

We wanted a playground that maximised the shade of our beautiful big old trees, which made good use of natural colours and materials. We got the playground we wanted and more. 

Our new playground is a hit with all ages – we cater for up to year 8. We love the ‘soft topped stepping stones’ and our school values are etched into the balance beams, which make our playground unique and individual to us. 

Our families enjoy the reflection deck as much as our children do and the swings are just ‘the bomb’. We enjoyed the entire process with Playground Creations, and we know that our playground is about us and our school.” 

– Principal, View Road School

Puketaha School playground

Playground refresh

It’s a big thumbs up from the students at Puketaha School! By revamping their beloved tower and adding a new activity net with connecting bridge, this play space has been completely transformed. 

The existing playground was refreshed with some new equipment, decks and shock pads for new play experiences.

Your project. Our passion. Let's play!