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Open access playground launched in Auckland

Open access playground launched in Auckland
June 17, 2010

Auckland's newest all-access playground for children of all abilities has opened in Pt Chevalier's Coyle Park.

This unique playground features an inclusive, all-access play space that is accessible to children of varying abilities, including disabled children.

The equipment is designed to accommodate a child and their parent or caregiver at the same time. For example, there are purpose-built slides and play modules that are extra wide to enable a child to be accompanied by an adult. There are also spacious concrete paths to provide easy access, a train with higher seat backs and straps to secure children, and picnic tables that can accommodate wheelchairs.

The redevelopment of the playground is a collaboration between Auckland City Council, Variety - The Children's Charity and CCS Disability Action.

Auckland City Council committed funds towards the upgrade from the council's playgrounds renewal budget. Variety - The Children's Charity and CCS Disability Action secured funding from the Lion Foundation, Wilson Home Trust, David Levene Foundation, Jubilee Trust, Western Bays Community Board, John Fillmore Contractors and Matta Products Ltd.

Lorraine Taylor, Chief Executive of Variety -The Children's Charity explains "this playground will allow children of different abilities to develop and explore, and is an example of Variety's commitment to all Kiwi kids to help them reach their full potential."

The playground also features:

• All-weather rubber safety matting which provides a firm surface suitable for children in wheelchairs or with limited mobility;
• Slides which are wide enough for an adult to accompany a child down. A climbing rope beside the slide allows children to pull themselves up on the rope if desired or there are stairs between the two slides to enable access;
• A large 7.4 metre climbing net which provides a climbing challenge for children;
• A three-sided tactile weather station that provides activities on the panels;
• A music panel (keyboard) and several other activity panels; and
• A swing with a special seat that is suitable for children with mobility issues or younger children.

Coyle Park playground was chosen as the site for the playground as it is an appropriate size to accommodate the upgrade to an all-inclusive play space, as well as being a central and picturesque location near the coast.

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