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Wellington City Council consultation sees playgrounds transition to play spaces
Treating New Zealand's capital city as one large ‘play space’ is at the heart of Wellington City Council’s review of the city’s 14-year-old Playgrounds Policy.
Explaining that the draft policy looks at the importance of providing for a range of play spaces - from formal, dedicated play areas through to playable space within the city’s parks and neighbourhoods - Wellington’s Deputy Mayor-elect and Recreation portfolio leader, Paul Eagle advises "Wellingtonians love their playgrounds and the many spaces in their communities to play in. We’re looking for any feedback and ideas that will make what have better and get more people out and having fun."
Councillor Eagle says the policy doesn’t propose to close any playgrounds around the city, noting "playgrounds are at the heart of many neighbourhoods. Understanding how the city could partner with communities will help us better invest and maintain a city-wide network."
Incoming Councillor Jill Day, who will take up the Children and Young People portfolio within the new Council, says she is pleased to see the Council’s commitment to talking to the wider community about the use of public play spaces, adding "with limited play spaces available, it’s important that we are encouraging children to get out and get active. It’s equally important that wider family groups, schools and early childhood centres are being involved in how the wider community can best use the city’s communal play spaces."
The proposed policy is based on ‘five strategic priorities’ that will try and broaden what the Council does and provides to get more people outside and playing. In addition to providing a well-planned and managed network of the usual formal playgrounds, court spaces and skate facilities, the Council is looking at how to work better with schools and the community, how to promote informal play through the idea of ‘the city as a play space’ and how to promote play (and the value of play) more generally.
Wellingtonians are invited to give their thoughts on the draft of a new Play Spaces Policy with public consultation running until Friday 18th November.
Details of the public consultation are now posted on the Wellington City Council website at wellington.govt.nz/playspacespolicy.
Image: Playground at Wellington's Oriental Bay.
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