Our Wellington

News | 10 March 2021

Jax's fun day out at Karori Park Play Area

Karori Park Play Area received an exciting upgrade at the end of 2020, so we sent four-year-old Jax along to do a review. We chatted to him about the new design and what makes it “so awesome”.

Four-year-old Jax with a big smile on his face as he sails on a flying fox at the revamped Karori park.

So Jax, what was the first thing you did when you got there?

I ran straight to the climbing frame and whizzed down the slide, then quickly mastered the rope swing and pole. I’ve never done this before, so I was really pleased with myself.

That's great! What happened next? What was your favourite bit to play on?

After a quick bounce on the trampoline I wanted to go on the flying fox. Last year my dad had to ride on the fox with me, but now I’m bigger I can do it by myself. The flying fox was my favourite thing to do and when it was time to go home, I didn’t want to leave.

That flying fox has always been a favourite! Lucky it stuck around. Okay, what’s the overall verdict Jax? Would you go back for round two?

Karori Park is AWESOME, and I can’t wait to go back soon.

Four-year-old Jax concentrating as he makes his way over a black stepping stone bridge at the new Karori playgrounds.

The upgrade process – from plans on paper to diggers and dirt

It was a collaborative process working with the local community to get feedback from the early stages of concept design, right through to the final plans. We sent out a letter drop, held local drop-in sessions, took submissions through a survey, and noted feedback coming in through social media.

“Whether we’re simply refreshing or fully upgrading a play area, community feedback is a crucial part of the process,” Council Play Spaces Specialist Matthew Beres says.

“Through this, we’re able to understand the unique needs of each community and sometimes where we might have missed something or can do better.”

Accessibility is an important focus for the Play Spaces team as they work through the busy programme of upgrades, and the newly refreshed Karori Park is a great example of this.

Matthew says it has been designed with accessibility front of mind.

“We have purposefully chosen safety surfaces to make access to equipment easier and installed some specific pieces such as the inclusive swing seat and carousal, as well as the accessible basket swing.”

He says Wellington City Council considers accessibility for both users and their carers, by researching what is happening in the industry, taking to advocates, users and carers, and referencing the framework outlined in the 2017 Play Spaces Policy.

Matthew says because each project is so different, our approach is to address this at the time of renewal for each site.

“We’d like to thank everyone who had input throughout the consultation process, it really determines the success of the project, and what we’ve got is a fantastic outcome for the community.”

There are many years of fun and memories to be had here for generations to come – we suggest you pack a picnic, grab the kids and head over to check it out!

Four-year-old Jax on a yellow and black chain bridge at Karori playground, with the hills and blue sky in background.

For more info on our play area upgrades visit wellington.govt.nz/playgroundupgrades or get in touch with the team by emailing playground.upgrades@wcc.govt.nz.