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New playground uplifting community morale

Monday 14 November, 2022

Tamariki and rangatahi of Te Araroa are enjoying their newly completed playground after Mayor Rehette Stoltz officially opened the playground along with councillor Ani Pahuru-Huriwai and former councillor Bill Burdett.

The playground and facilities are part of upgrades Council is funding for rural townships across Tairāwhiti.

Council’s Rural Area Liaison Manager Lillian Ward said the first stage of the project was complete in July with the installation of new play equipment.

“We’ve now completed further upgrades including a new toilet facility, replacement of the basketball court, new furniture and fence upgrades.”

“We’ve worked with the community to make sure this playground is what they wanted and there’s no doubt it’ll get a lot of use by tamariki for years to come.”

Local resident Ripeka Irwin said it’s been a long time coming for whānau but it’s exciting to have a nice clean and tidy environment for children to play in.

“It’s cool the kids have somewhere to come and have fun, but for me it’s also about teaching them to look after it too.”

Angela Chambers has been living in Te Araroa for around seven months and said having the playground within walking distance from her home was perfect for her family.

“Because we’re an isolated town, I think people expect us to be rundown. But having a space like this is something to be really proud of, especially when friends and whānau come to visit.”

“It’s amazing to have and really uplifting for our morale."

Te Araroa playground

Ripeka Irwin and Angela Chambers