Playground closed – COVID-19

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Now that we are at Level 4, all playgrounds are closed including the one at Riverpark Reserve because the COVID-19 virus can remain on surfaces for up to 72 hours. We know that this will be a huge blow to the kids in our area but it’s absolutely vital that they do not use the play equipment during the lockdown period. The fitness stations and flying fox are also out of bounds and no one should be sitting on the seats either.

Auckland Council provided only one sign (see photo above) and we saw that children were still playing on the equipment after installation last Wednesday. So, we decided to create a few more signs so that it was clearer that the playground was closed. Olga did a fantastic job of including the Unite against COVID-19 logo on the sign and we used a large X to make it even clearer.

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We hope that the additional signs will help to warn people who have not heard about the playgrounds being closed.

One of our garden volunteers and neighbour Gilles, had a small amount of “Danger” tape so he donated this to us so that we could put it around the flying fox seat.

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We also put tape around the fitness stations. If anyone has more tape similar to this, please feel free to add more… We didn’t have enough to put any more.

Celebration a great success!

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Everyone had a great time at the long-awaited celebration for the playground upgrade at Riverpark Reserve yesterday. Families enjoyed the sausage sizzle and facepainting and children made the most of the improved playground and flying fox. People of various ages tried out the fitness stations. There was also the opportunity to try out zumba and 3 members of the Riverpark Action Group did their best to encourage others to participate. The cloudy weather meant we didn’t have to worry as much as usual about getting sunburnt!

FourĀ  members of the Riverpark Action Group were present (Nicole, Olga, Monique and Jacqui) but unfortunately Selina and Roy were not able to make it on the day.

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Left to right – Nicole Te Wake, Monique O’Brien-Bowring, Jacqui Ross, Olga Mills. Absent – Selina Chan, Roy Chalmers

Will Flavell (left-hand side below) from the Henderson-Massey Local Board acted as MC and local kaumatua Reverend Papa Fred Holloway (right-hand side below) blessed the playground with prayer and karakia. We would like to thank them both very much and Auckland Council staff member Genieve for organising the event.

In addition to Will Flavell, three other members of the Henderson-Massey Local Board (Ingrid Papau, Brenda Brady, Brooke Loader and Peter Chan) came to celebrate with us. Shane Henderson was also there to mark the day in his new role as newly elected Waitakere Ward councillor for Auckland. Each Henderson-Massey Local Board member said a few words and Shane Henderson made a speech.

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Left to right – Reverend Papa Fred Holloway and Henderson-Massey Local Board members Brenda Brady, Peter Chan, Brooke Loader, Will Flavell, Shane Henderson and Ingrid Papau

Jacqui Ross, Chairperson of the Riverpark Action Group also spoke on behalf of the group. This was followed by the cutting of the ribbon by Jacqui Ross with the assistance of two local children.

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Left to right – Shane Henderson (Auckland Council), Jacqui Ross (Riverpark Action Group), WIll Flavell (Henderson-Massey Local Board) and Brooke Loader (Henderson-Massey Local Board)

The photos below show people enjoying the day and the improved playground and flying fox…

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We would like to give our very sincere thanks to everyone who contributed to this project including the following people/organisations;

  • Henderson-Massey Local Board – funding and support
  • Auckland Council project managers – Tracey Hodder, Lucy Ullrich, Greer Clark
  • Lions Club Henderson-West Auckland – for working with us to get funding for the fitness stations
  • The Trusts Community Foundation – for funding the application by the Lions Club Henderson-West Auckland to allow purchase of the fitness stations
  • All members of the community who participated in the consultation process and provided ideas and support for the project
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Riverpark Reserve playground complete!

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The playground was completed in the middle of winter, when the park was very boggy, so we are still waiting for the official opening to happen which is now scheduled for Saturday 29 February. The increase in numbers of people coming to the playground has been really wonderful to see with families bringing picnics and other activities like volleyball to the park.

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The basket swing has been a great hit with teens as well as younger children.

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The flying fox isn’t as challenging as some would like but has been a great hit with the younger kids and the string has already had to be replaced once due to the high usage. We did have to ask for the seat to be raised early on when we realised that even intermediate-aged children were skimming the ground when using it.

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The fitness stations are growing in popularity and even though our group is very disappointed that our name did not appear on the signage, we know that we played a major part in getting these here and the main thing is that we managed to get the funding and get them installed for the use of our community. Thanks again to the Lions Henderson-West Auckland for agreeing to help us with the application and to The Trusts Community Foundation for funding these.

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Update on safe pedestrian crossing for Don Buck Road

After hearing nothing back from Auckland Transport in May 2019 as they had promised, we continued to ask for a pedestrian crossing and/or signage to be investigated by putting requests through the Auckland Transport web portal. This proved fruitless so we sent an email directly to Auckland Transport CEO Shane Ellison on 1 November asking him to forward our request to someone who would take some action.

This was successful and resulted in an email being sent to us with a new case number on 4 November and on 17 December we received an update stating that an investigation has been initiated and we should get a resolution by April 2020. Can’t wait!!!

Read the back story here…and please participate in our poll!

GJ Gardner Clean Up Week

September is always a difficult month to recruit volunteers for messy activities. However, we managed to get a valiant group of volunteers together to clean up some of the rubbish around Riverpark Reserve yesterday (Monday 9 September) in spite of the terrible weather forecast. The weight of the rubbish collected was 160kg, which is a great result. The photo shows some of our volunteers together with the collected rubbish.

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Gilles, Nicole and Monique next to the pile of collected rubbish

Riverpark Reserve playground – it’s happening!

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The physical works for the playground are progessing well now that the drainage work has been completed. We’ve been impressed to see people working even on Queen’s Birthday when the weather was very poor. It was great to see the play equipment installed and will be even more exciting when the swings are attached. The contractors are doing their best to look after the grass as instructed by Auckland Council.

See previous stories about this project here

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Greer, our contact at Auckland Council, tells us that the flying fox is very quick to install (one day) so we’re looking forward to seeing that going in. They had to shave a little soil off where this is going to be located and we can’t yet see where it’s going to end but from the plans, it was very close to the playground.

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The spaces for the fitness stations and the seating are currently just designated by the orange mesh fencing but will be installed soon.

 

Drainage costs for this project are very high and we’ve been interested to see that being done. Lots of hosing and a digger was required…

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The digger!

 

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9 July 2019 update

The fitness stations have now been installed so things are going well. Members of our group have already tested them out so you can blame us for the dirty footprints. These fitness stations were funded by The Trusts Community Foundation through a successful grant application by The Lions Club Henderson-West Auckland. Our group worked in partnership with the Lions on this proposal for the benefit of our community.

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