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Tokomaru Bay tamariki have their playground back

Friday 25 February, 2022.

Tamariki at Tokomaru Bay are enjoying their brand-new playground after it was officially opened by Mayor Rehette Stoltz.

The community had been without a playground since a flood mid-last year.

The beachside township of Tokomaru Bay was hit hard by the flooding. Hatea-a-Rangi School was temporarily closed and the sea reclaimed the community’s play area.

Hatea-a-Rangi principal Karla Kohatu says being able to re-open the school with a new relocated playground was a positive step forward for the kura, whanau and community.

“This is a taonga for our tauira (students) and community.

“Our Year 8 students Nicora Las Vegas and Wakahuia Moana Matete led this project as part of a Sport Tairāwhiti funding application.

“Using our school grounds for this community playground was also a way to thank our wider community for supporting our kura during our temporary relocation to Tuatini Marae. But more importantly to create a safe place for our tamariki to meet and keep active.”

Council’s Northern Area Liaison Officer Lillian Ward says the creation of the new space was a combined effort of Council, the School Board of Trustees, Ernslaw One Ltd, contractors and local residents.

“Civil Assist contacted the school after the floods, running workshops with our tauira to design their dream playground.

“The opening of this taonga has allowed our tauira to see their vision come to fruition.”

Mayor Stoltz was joined by councillors Pat Seymour and Bill Burdett to open the relocated playground.

Mayor Stoltz acknowledged the piritahi partnership that was formed to complete this piece of work.

She thanked Council staff, Ernslaw One Ltd for their financial contribution to support the relocation of the equipment, Civil Assist for overseeing its relocation, Kat Kaiwai and her team from Tairāwhiti Contractors for the installation of the equipment and bark, the Hatea-a-Rangi Board of Trustees and Tairāwhiti Roads for their mahi.