Traditional Maori waka for New Brighton playground

GLOBAL MOTION SPINNER: another playground feature DCL has confirmed for the playground.

A main feature of the New Brighton seaside playground will be a traditional waka.

A ship was originally planned in the initial design phase. However, the waka design will reflect discussions during the consultation process about interweaving cultural elements.

The budget for the
playground is $3 million. The equipment will cost about $750,000.

In comparison, the Margaret Mahy Family Playground in the central city cost $3 million, with $2 million spent on equipment. It was opened in December 2015 and is the largest in the Southern Hemisphere.

Development Christchurch Ltd worked with Matapopore Charitable Trust and Ngai Tahu to develop the waka concept.

Matapopore general manager Debbie Tikao was pleased about the waka and wants to see more cultural equipment in playgrounds.

“It’s great that our kids learn through playing on more of their own history,” said Mrs Tikao.

“I think we will be seeing more of this sort of thing happening, there is some integration of Maori design components in playgrounds within the North Island and we are certainly seeing more of that happening it the South Island,” she said.

Mrs Tikao enjoyed working alongside DCL and Ngai Tahu on the project.

“It wasn’t hard, we made sure that we were working with one of Ngai Tahu’s leading carvers, he is very knowledgeable . . . they (DCL’s design team) also did their absolute best to ensure the shape was right.”

Matapopore is a charitable trust which works alongside Ngai Tahu to ensure Maori culture and values are included in the regeneration of Christchurch.

The mast and sail design will measure 7.4m x 3m.

The playground will have a variety of play equipment, including some with wheelchair access.

A global motion spinner, water cannons, musical equipment and a splash pad with spouts is among the list of different equipment.

The Halberg Disability Sport Foundation and Be Accessible worked with DCL to audit the wheelchair accessibility elements as well as an inclusive carousel.

Workshops were completed by DCL with local school children and community groups to discuss designs.

A more formal consultation process with the public also followed.