The downscaled, more modest design incorporates key elements from the previous plans but will deliver a simpler and more cost-effective playground that has both play and recreational value.
Chair of Kōrau Mātinitini | Social, Cultural, and Economic Committee Councillor Teri O’Neill says getting the Frank Kitts Park playground back on track is a good result for Pōneke.
“We’re very happy to see work starting on this more cost-effective version of the playground, which also acknowledges our strong partnership with mana whenua and their continued inclusion in the design process.
“Located on the popular waterfront site, this destination playground will soon be enjoyed by children of all ages from across the region, and even the world, for years to come.”
Weather permitting, the playground is scheduled to be completed mid-summer with a full blessing ceremony planned around the finished project in February.
Councillor Ben McNulty says Frank Kitts Park playground is a Wellington institution, so it’s good to see construction starting again on the site.
“Our waterfront hasn't been the same without this space being accessible over the past few years.
“I'm pleased that we've been able to work cohesively as a Council and endorse a plan that still fundamentally realises the vision of former Councillor Jill Day, whilst delivering both cost reductions and a prompt construction timetable.”
The spend to date is approximately $3.6 million which includes most play equipment, park furniture, lighting elements, and some materials. An additional $3.5 million has been approved by Councillors for the project to be completed by the new contractor Downer Group NZ.
Council’s Manager Public Space Design Liam Farrell says the new playground design will still deliver a fun, accessible and safe experience.
“It includes accessible play equipment like a carousel, as well as a large net for climbing, accessible pathways, shaded picnic tables and benches.
“Two swing sets will be installed as well as the original lighthouse, which has been refurbished so children can climb up via an internal rope and slide down the iconic lighthouse slides.”