Pārekareka – Play your way every day

Wellington City Council is committed to improving the wellbeing and quality of life for tamariki through play. We are committed to promoting and advocating for children and young people to play their way, every day.

About Pārekareka

Pārekareka, play your way every day is a movement to promote and advocate for children’s rights to play in Pōneke. We support play champions, parents and sector leaders. 

We connect and inspire families to play more through events and activities.

We advocate and promote playful spaces and places.

We believe that everyone in our community has a role in enabling children to play their way, every day. 

In te reo Māori, Pārekareka means pleasant, enjoyable, engaging and fun. Pārekareka is also the name of the Spotted Shag endemic to Aotearoa and is symbolic to the unique inspiration we have for play in Aotearoa. Pārekareka captures the spirit of play by reminding us that play is simple but necessary for us all, every day

Benefits of play 

  • Play contributes to a child’s healthy development as well as the well-being of whānau and community connection. 
  • Play connects us to te taiao (the environment) and enables positive relationships with nature.
  • Play encourages healthy wellbeing by developing social, emotional, cognitive, and physical skills, and plays a vital role in developing resilience and aiding recovery. 
  • Play encourages physical literacy, stimulates creativity and innovation, builds our ability to identify and manage risks in a healthy way.

Right to play

Play is a fundamental human right for all children. All children have the right to play as enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (article 31). This is recognised by the New Zealand Government. 


Video credit: Play Aotearoa

Be inspired to play

If you are looking for more information on play, check out the resources below.

Nature Play
Formal Play areas 
Make your own play mission (655KB PDF)

Te Upoko O Te Ika a Maui Regional Power of Play Report 2022 (2.5MB PDF) is a new report specific to our region. We are inspired by this report to continue to put tamariki at the centre of play decision-making, planning and design.

Get involved

If you’re a play worker, or your organisation would like to connect into the Wellington Play Champions Network, email us at peta.mcmillan@wcc.govt.nz