A report presented to the Hibiscus & Bays Local Board at its October meeting looks at how local parks could be improved to offer wider fitness and fun opportunities for the community.
The detailed Strategic Parks Service Assessment, which Auckland Council commissioned from Boffa Miskell, runs to 147 pages. It is designed to guide the local board when it has opportunities and funding to make improvements to parks.
Among the report’s findings are that most of the facilities already provided are for Primary school aged children, although it says Orewa has “a good mix of all-ages play along its destination waterfront esplanade”.
It notes that older children and teenagers have very few formal play opportunities, with skate and basketball areas limited to just a few locations and very little large-scale equipment or hangout spaces designed to meet the needs of this age group.
While new residential developments are providing play spaces, most are aimed at young children.
Community fitness trails and exercise equipment are largely absent, with the equipment on Orewa Reserve donated by Orewa Lions the only such provision in this area. The report suggests that the Te Ara Tahuna Orewa Estuary shared cycle/walkway could provide a location for improved fitness and play opportunities at various sites along the walkway in future, and that there are opportunities to add play and fitness equipment in a number of local parks including Victor Eaves, Red Beach Reserve, Manly Park, Stanmore Bay Reserve, Silverdale War Memorial Park, Hatfields Beach and Gulf Harbour Recreation Reserve.
The report says future provision should be focused on including accessible and appropriate opportunities for a wider age group and those with more limited mobility as well as avoiding duplicating what is on offer at nearby schools.
Meanwhile, the local board recently sought feedback on its planned new playground for Beachwood Drive in Hatfields Beach. Consultation closed on the $350,000 project on October 28.