Hamilton City Council has revealed it has spent more than $40,000 repairing Dominion Park playground in Nawton in the last year following vandal attacks.
In a statement, the Council confirmed it had spent $25,000 in the last three months, and a further $15,000 to install video cameras for 24-hour CCTV surveillance in an effort to mitigate the high levels of vandalism.
“Thanks to the repairs, locals can now enjoy the giant basket swing again – freshly fixed for the fourth time. They can stand on the newly repaired turf under the swings, swing on the fixed belt swing, drink from the drinking fountain which has been restored after being stolen, and slide down the giant slides – both of which needed fixing after an arson attack, a separate incident from the one that took place in the toilet facilities three years ago,” it said.
The destination playground, also known as Te oko o Kirikiriroa playground, is one of eight around the city. Since its opening in 2016, more than $105,000 has been spent on fixing and securing the playground, Council said.
Hamilton City Council’s Parks and Recreation Unit Director, Maria Barrie, said every community deserves to have a safe, nice space to take their children to enjoy a family day out.
“It’s very disappointing that what is probably a small number of people feel the need to ruin a community asset for everyone,” she said.
“Just last week we found the toilets in a terrible state, the outside lights smashed along with the inside and outside smoke detectors. The cost to replace these, as well as to install smash-proof covers, will be more than $2,000.”
The park and playground are surrounded by more than 14 schools and several kindergartens and are very well used by many patrons ranging from small children to adults, she said.
The playground is now under 24-hour surveillance.
“If you’re in the area and see any untoward behaviour, do not put yourself in harm’s way. Please call 111 and report it, and report to council any damage you see as soon as you can,” says Ms Barrie.
“The playground belongs to the whole community. Let’s help each other out and work together to make our playgrounds a safe and enjoyable space for all to spend time with their whaanau,” she said.