Sunday, April 21, 2024

New destination playground for Turangi

Turangi Te Kapua Park is set to welcome a new destination papa tākaro (playground) currently in development thanks to a partnership between Ngāti Turangitukua and Taupō District Council.

After a request from the Turangi Tongariro Community Board, the papa tākaro was planned for in Taupō District Council’s annual plan this year, with a putea (budget) of $460,000 for the first phase of the kaupapa (project).

Project sponsor, John Ridd said the concept design phase was currently underway in consultation with land owners Ngāti Turangitukua. A steering group, including representatives from Ngāti Turangitukua and the Turangi Tongariro Community Board has been established to oversee the mahi.

“The idea is for the playground to be located alongside the Turangi skate park as an extension of that play space and aimed at younger children, up to about 12 years old,” he said.

“Essentially the idea is to create a destination playground that merges in with the landscape, has a connection with the land and stories of Turangi, and is a great source of entertainment for local children and visitors.”

Bespoke Landscape Architects, the same designers that developed the Tongariro Domain papa tākaro in Taupō that is due to be constructed later this year, is creating the concept plans for Te Kapua Park.

Mr Ridd said the scope of this first phase would be determined by the feedback received from iwi and the community and subsequent design of the papa tākaro.

Chairman of Ngāti Turangitukua Maori Committee Jeff Bennett said the papa tākaro would be an asset for Turangi locals and visitors alike, and the theme would revolve around the Tongariro Awa (River).

“The river is a significant area for this end of the lake in terms of its geographic, ecological and cultural impact,” he said.

“It is great to be able to share one of the stories about our river. I believe people taking advantage of the playground will appreciate the story and it will add to their experience.”

The next stage of the kaupapa will see the refinement of the concept design over the coming weeks. Once this has been done, the community will be asked for feedback and suggestions. A date for construction will follow.

Old equipment currently behind the nearby Turtle Pools was deemed in a state of disrepair and would likely be disassembled and removed in the future.

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