Playground standards compare well
A Council commissioned independent audit of the district’s 44 playgrounds shows the safety compliance standard of Council play equipment has steadily improved over the last 10 years, with Gisborne’s playgrounds now comparing favourably with other districts around the country.
The audit was completed by Tina Dyer from Park Central on 169 pieces of playground equipment and the condition of 65 playground surfaces.
Council’s ongoing audit process shows that overall playground safety compliance has improved from 25% compliance 10 years ago to 75% compliance in 2016.
A total of 142 playground items were rated good or excellent in the report.
Of the total pieces of equipment, including climbing platforms (modules), swings, see-saws and the like, five items were rated in very poor condition and needing repair or replacement. For surfaces under play equipment, three were found to be in very poor condition.
Contracts and asset manager Garrett Blair said the audit identified a playground module at Te Araroa in very poor condition. “The equipment was fixed immediately when we received the report form the auditor in June.”
Councillors at yesterday’s Community Development Committee meeting praised staff on work put in to raising the standard of play equipment and what they have achieved for the safety of playgrounds for the community.
Planning and development group manager Nedine Thatcher-Swann is confident that Council is on the right track to providing the right standard of playground safety and experience for Gisborne children.
“Our playground compliance with national standards now sits in the top half of Councils across New Zealand,” says Ms Thatcher-Swann.
“By far the majority of our equipment and playground surfacing complies with the current standards.
“This is a big improvement but we’re not resting on our laurels. We’ve worked very hard on our maintenance programme in recent years, and we expect our community will continue to see improvement over the next few years.”
A programme of recommended maintenance and minor repairs in response to the audit is underway now.
Mr Blair confirmed tenders would be called in the next few weeks for priority equipment recommended for replacement by the report and at the end of their useful life.
“The report provided indicative costs for replacing equipment ‘like for like’, but we are tendering the work and will review what items we will replace them with, giving us a competitive price and more accurate costs.”