Otematata Playground gets a revamp

Published on 07 March 2023

Otematata Residents Association Inc Chair Steve Dalley and Deputy Chair Richard Paton.JPG

Contractors have broken ground as the community led Otematata Playground revamp enters the construction phase.

The Otematata Residents Association Inc (ORAI) applied to the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) to become a member of the Community Led Development Programme in 2019. Successful in their application, they are one of only eighteen groups nationwide accepted to be a part of the programme.

Deputy Chair of the ORAI Richard Paton said, “We were thrilled to be accepted into the programme as acceptance wasn’t a sure thing. We needed to provide robust financials and a clear direction.”

A purely community run project, the direction was provided by a robust resident’s survey which was professionally undertaken with an independent analysis.

This project has been a labour of love between the Otematata Community Led Development Programme (OCLDP) and the ORAI. This, alongside other projects are expected to take 5 years in total and the groups are thrilled to begin works on the playground after 3.5 years of planning and research.

Richard Paton said, “This has been a real team effort. We have all been working toward a collective goal, it is a real reflection of the commitment people have to Otematata.”

Baxter Design from Queenstown have worked on the planning with the Waitaki District Council and the Queenstown / Wanaka based TSA Group will project manage the works.

The playground works will include sun protection, matting, a web climber, tunnel slide, rock-climbing wall, and sputnik. There will also be accessibility options to provide more access for all in our community. Two shelters and a community BBQ will also be included.

Topographical changes include rolling mounds and places to sit which aim to link the entire project. Works also include beautification and enhancement with extensive planting planned by Baxter Design. The planning aims to enhance existing trees on site. The planting will include hebes and Norwegian maples along with an incorporated irrigation system.

ORAI Chair, Steve Dalley said “The project is all about beautification and enhancement rather than change and we can’t wait to see, and enjoy, the final result.”

Mr Paton has really enjoyed being part of the project. “It has been quite a commitment, but it is a real privilege to be a part of it. The DIA have also been a huge support, they have provided encouragement, enthusiasm, and support every step of the way.”

For safety reasons, the playground will be fenced off for around a month as the works begin at the playground. The playground works are a smaller part of the wider project with works for that scheduled to begin in July.