Dam good fun to come

8/10/2019 12:00 a.m.

Exciting new Waterplay Feature coming to Ōamaru Public Gardens Playground in 2020 

In 2014 the Waitaki District Council adopted the Waitaki Reserves Management Plan. Within this plan were concept plans for both the Ōamaru Public Gardens and the Playground. The Playground concept is based on a Natural-Sensory theme with an emphasis on ‘natural play’, where kids play with natural elements such as sand, water, wood and living plants and is intended to be a project implemented by Council in conjunction with community support and funding. 

The first phase of what is a much-needed upgrade will be the replacement of two paddling pools, which are dated and require ongoing repair. We plan to replace them with a water play feature whose design is based on a stylised version of the Waitaki Lakes and braided river systems. With accessible paths and interactive waterplay, children will be able to use their imaginations and divert the course of the water, create dams and their own pools ‒ raising a whole new generation of engineers and creative problem-solvers. 

Mayor for Waitaki, Gary Kircher says, “This is the start of what will be a new type of playground for our youngsters. The Council has previously introduced new concepts with our Steampunk Playground at Ōamaru Harbour, and our bike parks in Ōamaru, Palmerston and Kurow. This will now bring a new concept to one of our oldest playgrounds – Ōamaru Public Gardens. And we are asking the community for even more ideas!” 

Work is planned for winter 2020, subject to sufficient funding, and Council is looking for feedback and sponsorship; we are welcoming volunteers and encouraging community group involvement. Interested? Meet the Waitaki District Council Parks team at the Ōamaru Public Gardens Playground BBQ area between 11am to 1pm on Saturday the 19th of October, have a sausage or two, see the design plans, and hear all about the natural play concept. 

If you are unable to make it on this date but wish to find out more regarding the proposed concept, a printable copy of the design plans is available here​. You can also fill in our online survey.​

Page reviewed: 08 Oct 2019 3:02pm