Wānaka Sun       

Views sought on new playgrounds for Hāwea

Posted at 6:00am Thursday 24 Dec, 2020 | By Jo Galer newsdesk@thewanakasun.co.nz

There are housing developments aplenty in and around Hāwea, but the all-important playgrounds to keep up with rising numbers of mums, dads and children have been missing in action – until now.

The community has a possible site for a playground within the housing development area of Sentinel Park, on a space off Cemetery Road, between Brewster Crescent and Dingle Street.

Hāwea Community Association Chairperson Cherilyn Walthew said the area is one of the fastest-growing in New Zealand, and yet facilities such as playgrounds for a burgeoning population of parents and children have not eventuated and developers of housing have so far not provided them.

“Services such as playgrounds are so important in communities. If you are a new family to the area and haven't made connections it can be pretty lonely and isolating for parents, not to mention for the kids. When we're putting in housing developments that put pressure on infrastructure we need to think of these sorts of details,” she said.

Apart from a playground at the Hāwea Community Centre and at the school, a public playground that is within easier walking distance for mums with prams and toddlers in newer areas further away, is sorely needed, both for Lake Hāwea and also potentially for Hāwea Flat.

She said the Queenstown Lakes District Council had indicated that if the community comes up with a good design, it will look favourably on a proposal to help fund the infrastructure. The community has also received a public donation of $15,000, “so we are keen to do something specific with it.” 

She has put out a Facebook call for interested community members to help generate ideas, with around 12 people coming forward so far. They plan to hold a public meeting on January 23 to publicly present design ideas “so fundraising can begin with a vengeance.” 

Contact hcachairperson@gmail.com to get involved.

Read edition 1006 of the Wānaka Sun here.

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