Project: Waikirikiri Park Playground
Client: Gisborne District Council
A fertile area once extensively gardened by Ngati Oneone, Waikirikiri (meaning water and sand/gravel) was part of the hapu’s wider area of land known as Papawhariki and, later, Kaiti.
The original playground was a community-led initiative in the 1950s. Celebrated as the Dalton Street Housewives, seven whaea fundraised, hangi by raffle, to raise money for a play space in a local paddock. Volunteers assembled the hard-earned equipment and built it to last, well into the 21st century. By 2017, however, the constantly used playground was, quite literally, falling apart and posing health and safety issues for tamariki.
In partnership with Gisborne District Council, Sport Gisborne Tairāwhiti undertook extensive consultation with residents, through school visits, an online survey, social media and community events. A clear vision emerged of an inclusive facility, one which reflected the historical, cultural and social significance of the playground – and included ‘heaps’ of opportunity for energetic activity.
Reflecting our commitment to sustainable playground design, the Playground Creations team restored items of existing playground equipment and added some exciting new activities as well, including a stand-alone wire flying fox; swings; a double slide; spinning and bouncing equipment; monkey bars; climbing structures, both rope net and rock wall; and a fort, designed to look like a traditional whare.
The design of the new play space ticked all the boxes and is now in constant use by Kaiti’s tamariki and their whānau.