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Kids input to new playspace at the Rotorua Lakefront
11 January 2019
Kids input to new playspace at the Rotorua Lakefront
Rotorua Lakes Council is inviting tamariki/children to attend creative workshops to help shape the design of the new play space that will be part of the lakefront development.
The new play space will replace the existing Volcanic Playground which will remain in place while the new play space is created. The creative workshops will provide the opportunity for tamariki to learn about the play space and actively contribute and share their ideas about how they like to play. Participants will be given a set of mystery materials to bring their ideas to life and the opportunity to share their ideas with the play space designers and each other. The workshops are best suited to tamariki six years and older.
The workshops will be held at Rotorua Library, Te Aka Mauri, on Tuesday 15 January, Thursday 17 January, and Thursday 24 January from 1.30 – 2.30pm. All materials will be provided at the workshops and there is no need to register, just come along and join in.
Rotorua Lakes Council has allocated $20 million to the Rotorua lakefront development with matched funding coming from Central Government’s Provincial Growth Fund to enable the project to be completed over the next three years. Part of the development will include the new play space.
Landscape architect Zach Barker from Isthmus, the studio designing the lakefront play space, explains why they are keen to get input from tamariki and how these types of workshops are beneficial.
“We believe it’s important to work closely with our young people as we develop our designs to ensure we are including what they value in a play space.
“The workshops will provide the opportunity for tamariki to get creative and share their ideas about play with us.
“In the past we have used these workshops to introduce a project to the community, uncover local stories, gather an understanding of the local identity, and learn what is most important to the project’s end users.”  
The sessions will begin with the story Kapai’s Thermal Adventure which highlights some of Rotorua’s special features which tamariki may like to include in their designs and ideas. Play space landscape designers from Isthmus will be introduced and explain what their job is, what makes a good play space from their perspective, and how they hope to include the ideas generated from the workshops in the play space design. Tamariki will then be able to choose between getting creative with mystery materials or working in a group with foam blocks to express their ideas about play.
Children’s parents are encouraged to attend and share their ideas as the lakefront play space is intended to provide a range of open spaces, activities, and new and improved playground equipment for everyone to enjoy.
“We want the new play space to be fun, safe, and memorable, with activities that encourage exploration, discovery and connection to place. We’re looking forward to seeing the creative and fresh ideas our tamariki come up with and working to include these concepts in our design plans,” says Mr Barker.