Playground upgrades

We aim to create play spaces that are accessible, fun, varied and cater for a wide range of abilities. Our goal is to design interesting play spaces that meet the needs of both children and their caregivers.

Playground upgrade news

We are committed to improving the accessibility of our play spaces for the whole community by having connecting paths to each site.  And, excitedly, our playgrounds will include items of sensory play, that incorporate touch and sound.

Playground upgrades and renewals are driven by the condition of the equipment.  Sometimes the equipment can look perfectly fine but in reality be close to the end of its life.  The inspections we do of the equipment is quite in-depth, so while the equipment may look perfectly fine, underneath the paint and coverings is where the true condition is measured.


Whitby Walkway Playground (Solander)

UPDATE SEPTEMBER 2022

In late 2021 you shared with us how and when you use the Whitby Walkway Playground (also known as Spinny Park and Solander Park), what you love about the space and what you would change. As a result of this information being gathered, combined with our playspace expertise, the draft concept design is now available for you to share your feedback on.

Key messages

In your feedback it was clear that swings, slides and climbing activities are important to you. These activities will be provided through a combination of traditional play equipment and informal nature play activities, including a bespoke timber playfort!

One of the key messages we received was the emotional attachment to the spinny wheel. Unfortunately this will not be part of the upgrade, as these wheels have proven to be unsafe.

There was demand expressed for playground shade in summer, and this message was reinforced by feedback from the NZ Cancer Society. Additional seating was also a strong theme, which is aimed to be met through informal seating set overlooking the spaces, along with some picnic tables.

Concept design – ‘Wildwood Playspace’

The concept design proposes upgrading the Whitby Walkway playground to a ‘Wildwood Playspace’, which offers an opportunity for a return of free play. Basically, the existing playground explodes out into a wider area and uses existing landform to add play, value and interest.

For lots of reasons we have seen a lessening of free play in the last 15-20 years. Unstructured play with natural or repurposed objects is important for emotional, physical and social development. “Evidence suggests free play develops independence, fosters resilience, teaches children about risk management, fosters creativity and builds confidence.” (Raisingchildren.org.nz). Wildwood Playspace is a site that has a strong sense of place suited to creation of a free play area for tamariki.

The concept design proposes three zones:

  • Woodland zone – Taking advantage of the dappled light from the established parkland canopy trees, the woodland zone aims to be a challenging/confidence/risk/reward low-level activity forest experience. A bespoke timber play fort fits with the woodland character.
  • Nature play – The enhanced nature play area is a place for discovery of the natural world and creative enviro play. This streamside space is already in use with well-worn paths through the undergrowth and fallen trees to cross the stream. Informal terrace seating set into the bank will overlook the space, creating educational opportunities and safe exploration. Traditional play equipment will be integrated into this space.
  • Open space – A large eagles claw basket swing sits beside the walkway along with informal seating and picnic tables overlooking the open field.

The Wildwood Playspace is part of an organic design process. The Concept Design Brief is now available for feedback before costing and detailed design.

Click here to view the concept design brief.

Feedback – Survey

To share your thoughts on the concept design, complete the short survey by following the link: Survey Link.

Alternatively, you can email parksfeedback@poriruacity.govt.nz or call our customer service centre on 04 237 5089.

Feedback needs to be in by Sunday, 25 September 2022.

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The playground equipment at Whitby Walkway Playground has reached the end of its life and needs replacing.

Aspects like what age range the playground should try to cater for and what activities tamariki would like to see incorporated are being investigated as part of the upgrade.

The budget for the renewal is $130,000 and includes the design and construction work. Overall, the upgrade will not be extensive and there is limited scope to increase the size of the playground's area. All of the equipment within the park will be replaced, including the rubbish bin and seating. The large green space that the playground shares will remain largely untouched.

A survey asked questions about how the space is used so we can understand more about how it interacts with the community - it closed on 12 December, 2021.

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All the information gathered is being collated and the key messages and ideas will inform the design of the playground renewal. The proposed design will be shared with you in 2022.

The design is being drawn up and the construction will take place in 2022, although this is dependent on supply of products and services.

Wairaka Park - Pukerua Bay

Plans have been completed and consulted upon, with construction under way in June 2022. It’s important to us that this space continues to be enjoyed and meets the needs of the community.

Wairaka Park Renewal Survey 2 – Concept design

In late 2021 you shared with us how and when you use Wairaka Park, what you love about the space and what you would change. We shared the idea of introducing natural play features.

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One of the key messages we received was concern about the unfenced area at the Wairaka Road end. In the concept design it is proposed to fence that end which creates space for more play! A tunnel and some other natural play features are proposed to go there.

We are proposing to recycle the existing double slide to go on the slope, and the hut from the existing fort will also be included in the plan.

We saw the kids loved to climb and walk on the wide top fence. In this design there is more climbing and balancing activities with log paths and rocks to climb.

The swings are important to you. The rope swing is the 'new kid on the block' and is trending in playgrounds. It's an alternative to the traditional playground swings. Great for tamariki to do together.

The budget for the upgrade is $130k and this includes the purchase of the new features as well as installation and construction.

UPDATE JUNE 2022

Shortly, signage will go up around the fencing as construction is due to begin.

The playground will be out of action for the duration of the construction works but the library will maintain its existing opening hours and access to the library will remain open.

We thank you for your patience as this work is carried out. For any queries phone 04 237 5089 or email enquiries@poriruacity.govt.nz



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Moray Park - COMPLETED

We are making plans to upgrade Moray Park in Papakōwhai in February/March 2021 and have heard your ideas about what we could include in the upgrade, and how you or your whānau use the space.

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Thank you for sending us your votes for the Moray Park playground. We received 100 votes from the community and the preferred playground was Option 2 with 62% of the vote.

Thank you for taking the time to vote for your favourite playground.

Moray Park FAQs

The main driver behind the works is the play equipment is at the end of its life, so it needs replacing. In addition, there are some works that we want to do as part of the upgrade and these are:   

  • Improve paths to the playground
  • A sign at the entry to the park
  • To open the entry and enhance the look and feel of the park, we will do some shrub removal or trimming as well as some new plantings
  • To improve drainage, the ground level of the new playground will be raised and potentially moved to the east side of the park.

Please keep in mind that this is classified as a neighbourhood park and therefore the scale of the playground needs to stay relatively small. We are excited to hear what sort of play elements you would like to see, and how you use your park. The budget for the upgrade, excluding the works above, is about $70,000.


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Ascot Park - COMPLETED

Ascot Park Playspace upgrade vote results!

Thank you for sending us your votes for the Ascot Park playground. We received 112 votes from the community and the preferred playground was Option 2, with 67%. Thank you for taking the time to vote for your favourite.

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We are finalising the design now and construction for the majority of the new playspace upgrade is planned for March/April 2021.

Some final works may need to be completed later in 2021.

Ascot Park FAQs

The main driver behind the works is that some of the play equipment is at the end of its life so needs replacing. In addition, there are some works that we have to do as part of the upgrade and these are: 

- New flying fox launch platforms

- New concrete accessible path to playspace

The budget for the playspace upgrade, including the works above, is about $120,000, which will mean there are limitations in the complexity of the elements we can deliver for you. The playground will need to remain at a similar scale as it is now.


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Contact us

You can email parksfeedback@poriruacity.govt.nz or phone us on 04 237 5089 for more information on either of these planned upgrades.

We will use the feedback to inform the design brief of the upgrades.  If we have two preferred options following the design submissions, we will give you a chance to vote on your favourite design – so keep an eye out for a second survey in November!

The Moray Pl and Ascot Park upgrades are likely to include elements of natural play.


Endeavour Park, Whitby OPEN

Thanks to the feedback we received from the public late in 2019, we have made changes to the design. You told us that the playground needs to cater for younger children, have challenging elements, can handle a number of kids at one time, not have loud musical items, but include bright, bold colours. We’re confident that this new design ticks all of those boxes after working very closely with our playground suppliers.

Twin racing embankment slide down the small hill, linking the table and chair

  • Two-bay swing set which will have a toddler and adult swing as well as a basket swing allowing for children with all abilities
  • A large play tower module featuring:
    • Spider jungle net
    • Gyrofling
    • Monkey bar wave
    • Wobbly log bridge
    • Glider flying fox
    • Balance beam
    • Space walk
    • Tower with multiple platforms and shade
    • Rock climbing wall
    • Little cubbyhouse under the tower which we’ll call and label “Wests Junior Clubhouse”
    • Sensory ‘make it rain’ and turning cogs play panels

We’ll continue to install the Supa Nova at this playground as we’re confident this is an awesome piece of equipment for older kids when used correctly. Check out this YouTube clip of some of cool tricks that can be done on a Supa Nova – are you up for the challenge?

The new playground will also feature a new footpath from the car park and a water fountain as part of the upgrade.


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There’s a bit going on there and we’re mindful that you may have a few questions. You can always email parksfeedback@poriruacity.govt.nz or call us on 04 237 5089 if you have any queries.


Ernest Park, Rānui OPEN

After fantastic feedback from residents, we're pleased to see this playground being well-used. We made some minor changes to make the space extra special. See photos below.

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Brown's Bay Reserve, Whitby OPEN

The playground renewal is complete. The playground from a design view looks like this (see below). In the past six months, Bodmin Tce and Navigation Dr reserves have both had their playgrounds renewed.  Head over and check them out!

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