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Ōmokoroa playground open for Christmas

Supplied photo.

Ready, set play! The Ōmokoroa Domain’s $1.06 million playground is open for kids and adults to try out this summer.

The fences around the playground came down in an ‘unofficial opening’ after kaumatua from Pirirākau Hapū led a blessing of the site last week.

The destination playground features some spectacular play equipment including mega swings, pendulum swings, junior swings, climbing nets, timber play boat, a junior mound with slide, climber and tunnel, tower, in ground trampolines, mousewheel, musical equipment and wheelchair accessible carousel.

Western Bay of Plenty District Council’s Reserves and Facilities Projects and Assets Manager, Scott Parker couldn’t be happier to have this playground open in time for the summer holidays.

“We’re thrilled that everyone living and visiting Ōmokoroa for Christmas will be able to enjoy the playground. A big thank you to our contractors, Downer, for pushing to get this done for the community.”

The final design for the fantastical new playground was inspired by designs from tamariki at local schools Ōmokoroa No 1, Ōmokoroa Point, Pahoia, Whakamarama and Te Puna.

The five schools – all between Apata and Te Puna - were chosen because they are within the traditional mana whenua rohe of the Pirirākau hapū.

Students were keen to add some adrenaline to their play equipment and given free rein to get creative with their playground models.

“It’s heart-warming to finally see kids using the playground with huge smiles on their faces.“

The project team ran a thorough community consultation process over 18 months with tangata whenua, local community, and schools to land on the final concept.

“This is the biggest and most innovative playground in the Western Bay of Plenty. we’re really proud and we hope the community are too, “ says Scott.

There are a few more finishing touches to come in January with additional tables, seating and a barbecue.

Everyone is asked to please stay out of the temporary fencing areas so the grass can grow.

The playground is an important feature in the wider Ōmokoroa Domain upgrade which will ultimately include a boardwalk along the esplanade and foreshore, footpaths, fitness equipment and landscaping.

The upgrade is one of many large projects being undertaken around Ōmokoroa Peninsula preparing the town for the current population growth continuing into the near future.

The playground upgrade is funded through a mix of existing asset renewal funding and capital works funding.

For more information about this project, visit westernbay.govt.nz/omokoroa-playground-upgrade

About the Ōmokoroa Peninsula Projects

It is estimated that by 2050, the Ōmokoroa peninsula will be fully developed and home to 12,000 residents.

To cater for this significant growth and the need for continuing improvements to the peninsula’s infrastructure, Council is undertaking a series of projects – roading, reserves, cycleways, stormwater, building and planning – between now and 2022.

Overall, there are more than 15 Council-initiated projects, along with private development, and which includes collaboration with tangata whenua, Pirirākau hapū; the Ministry of Education; and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency. The total projects are estimated to cost $50 million, of which $14 million is co-funded by the Government under its Shovel Ready Infrastructure Programme.

For more information on current projects, visit Council’s ‘Ōmokoroa Peninsula Projects’ webpage and story map at www.westernbay.govt.nz/omokoroaprojects.

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