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Two new playgrounds coming to Lakeside

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Two new playgrounds are due to be completed in Lakeside next year. Neighbourhood Playground 1 is located at the corner of Scott Road and Whites Way, and Playground 3 is located on Whites Way. 

As part of the Lakeside neighbourhood playground design project, we engaged with Waikato District Council to ensure the proposed playgrounds complement the existing play spaces in Te Kauwhata. We also organised workshops with Mana Whenua and Te Kauwhata Community Committee to understand their aspirations for these play spaces. 

Local schools such as Waerenga School, Te Kauwhata Primary School and Te Kauwhata College were also engaged, so we could capture children's feedback on how these playgrounds should look.

Because the playgrounds will be enjoyed not only by Lakeside residents, but by the wider Te Kauwhata community, both were engaged to help develop a visionary concept plan. At a community open day in October last year, initial concept plans for both playgrounds were presented to 80-100 residents of all ages and abilities, who shared their ideas and had their questions answered by the Lakeside Placemaking and Development teams. It was a fun day for the whole family, with a free sausage sizzle and coffee, and face painting and arts and crafts for the kids.

What we heard from you
Making the new neighbourhood playgrounds a great place to play and get together was important to both the Lakeside and wider Te Kauwhata communities. During the first phase of the engagement with Mana Whenua, schools and the wider community, we heard that the playgrounds should incorporate play elements for youth, and that there is a lack of water play elements in Te Kauwhata.

You also told us that you would like to see Māori storytelling woven into the playgrounds. You wanted to have a seesaw designed in the form of a waka hurdle, play equipment designed in the form of a tuna hīnaki (eel trap), and for safety surfaces to be used to tell stories.

We also heard that you want these playgrounds to have big slides, big swings (including hexagon swings), a flying fox, and pump tracks. Other requests were for a half-size basketball court for youth, and for water play elements to be incorporated in the play spaces. The community also asked that the playgrounds be inclusive of kids of all abilities, and to provide amenities such as BBQs, toilets and seating.

Next steps
Now it's time to present the draft concept plans designed with community input back to everyone to make sure we heard you correctly, and check if there is anything missing. Both playground concept plans will be shared with the wider community during our Lakeside Information Day, on Saturday 1st April from 11am to 1pm. 

Your feedback will be used to prepare the final playground plans. You can read more about the new playgrounds here.