The imagination of children has played an important part in the development of the new playground officially opened at the Waterview Reserve in Auckland during the weekend.
The playground is the heart of recreational activity in Waterview and its re-build is one of the most colourful and fun parts of the NZ Transport Agency’s Waterview Connection motorway project.
Children from the local Waterview Primary School were involved from the start when they were asked by the playground’s designers (Boffa Miskell) for their ideas about what they wanted.
“Our designers listened to what the children had to say and we’re delighted with the fantastic playground and facilities that are now here for the community and visitors to use,” says the Transport Agency’s Highway Manager Brett Gliddon.
“There are water play and risk-taking areas, as well as slides, swings, roundabouts and sports courts and while we couldn’t give them the ‘edible’ playground they wanted with trees of lollies, plenty of fruit trees have been planted instead.”
The playground is the latest in the series of facilities being delivered for communities near the Waterview Connection project. It was designed by the community, Well-Connected Alliance and Auckland Council and was built by the Well Connected Alliance which is constructing the Waterview Connection for the Transport Agency.
It includes water play elements, a fale-inspired shade structure and a sculptural waka feature.
“The new reserve, with all its awesome features, will be hugely popular over summer and bring our community together like never before. Better recreational spaces is a key goal for the Board and this reserve provides some social mitigation for the motorway,” says Margi Watson of the Albert Eden Local Board and a resident of Waterview.
“It is one of the best projects, at a community level, that the Waterview Connection delivers.”
Around a thousand people visited the playground for the ribbon cutting and opening on Saturday, with more than 900 ice creams, 800 cupcakes and 800 sausages served.
The ribbon cutting included representatives from the Local Board, the Council’s parks team, the Transport Agency, the Well-Connected Alliance, Ngati Whatua, children from Waterview Primary School, and community groups. Children from the school buried a time capsule in the playground.
The playground has big splashes of ground cover which are coloured sea blue and sand to reflect its location near the Waitemata Harbour. It has been designed for toddler through to teenagers.
The second stage of redevelopment – including a skate park and BMX track – opens next year. A heritage area around nearby Oakley Creek and improved walking and cycling access will be completed in 2017.
The Well-Connected Alliance comprises the Transport Agency, Fletcher Construction, Parsons Brinckerhoff, McConnell Dowell, Tonkin+Taylor and Obayashi Corporation.