Biggest Rope Playground Opens Tomorrow

3 April 2012

The biggest rope-climbing playground of its type in New Zealand officially opens at West Park School in Johnsonville tomorrow (4 April)

The playground is a partnership project between Wellington City Council and the Ministry of Education and the school's board of trustees. Children in the community can use the playground on weekends and outside school hours.

The $170,000 project also involved renewing the existing public playground alongside the school playground. A footpath separates them.

The rope-climbing playground is designed for children aged 5-15. The structure is 2 metres high and is more challenging than traditional playgrounds. It encourages kids to climb - improving physical fitness and in particular developing upper body strength - and can take as many as 300 kids at a time.

Community Facilities Portfolio Leader, Councillor Justin Lester, says the project is an excellent example of how the Council can work in partnership with schools on community projects and keep the costs for ratepayers down.

"The kids are going to love it - I know I would have at that age. But the best thing about this partnership is that it benefits the school, which gets a larger playground than it otherwise would get, and the community can use it on weekends and after school hours. Everyone wins, including ratepayers."

The Board of Trustees Deputy Chair, Warren Young, says it has long been a goal of the school to rebuild the senior play equipment.

"Imaginative play is good for learning. Climbing skills, comfort with heights, balance and upper body strength and coordination along with safe but challenging experiences are now available every day," says Mr Young.