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Construction to start on Wellington’s Frank Kitts Park playground

Construction to start on Wellington’s Frank Kitts Park playground
January 10, 2022

Wellington City Council advise that construction of the new $6 million Frank Kitts playground is due to commence today with the new playground expected to be open in October 2022.

The destination playground will include a large scale play area with bespoke equipment, a nautical/coastal theme fitting for the waterfront site, and an accessible space for children of all ages and abilities.

Some of the other features include:

  • 5 swings, including a basket swing; mirage swing; toddler swing and two standard swings
  • A new lighthouse, positioned to the western side of the playground
  • A dual flying fox

Councillor Jill Day, Chair of the Social, Cultural and Economic committee says the new playground will be worth the wait and notes “this playground has been a long time coming, so we’re excited to see preparation work about to start on what will eventually become a wonderful experience and memory for thousands of Wellingtonians – and visitors to Pōneke.

“Some people were disappointed by the removal of the slide, and the decommissioning of the lighthouse, but the new one will be just as large, fun and entertaining – just safer and more suitable for tamariki of all ages.”

The refresh on the city’s playground matches the Council’s vision for Wellington 2040, to make Wellington an inclusive, sustainable and creative capital for people to live, work and play, says Play Spaces Specialist, Matthew Beres.

Beres adds “with the redesign, we’ve integrated active, imaginative and cognitive play opportunities across terraced play spaces stepping up from the harbour edge. The terraced spaces will provide a variety of play experiences, some of which are specifically designed for different age groups.

“The northern edge is framed by the waka play deck, and at the eastern end an abstracted tug bow separates the playground from the waterfront promenade.

“We have worked the design around many of the existing Pōhutakawa trees so they can remain, while others were transplanted to different spots in the park back in November 2021 to make space. One of these trees will be transplanted back into the playground to provide shade.”

The decommissioned lighthouse will not be going to waste as it will be salvaged, diverting most materials from the landfill.

The domed roof will be refurbished and reused on the new lighthouse along with the seagull. The chrome seashells and telescopes will be salvaged, refurbished and reused in the new playground.

The lighthouse has been purchased by an interested party and the removal, relocation, and associated costs will be paid for by the new owner – and a donation of $2,500 will be made to a charity of their choice.  

The upgrade to Frank Kitts Park playground follows other recent projects in the region. The play areas at Pembroke Road, Pukehuia Park, Karori Park, Wall Park, Khandallah Library, Cummings Park, Kekerenga Street and Matairangi nature trail extension have all received a fresh face within the last two years.

The play areas at Pirie Street in Mount Victoria, Waipapa in Hataitai, Breaker Bay, Harrison Street in Brooklyn, Chelsea Street in Miramar, Wadestown, Newtown Park, Helston Road and Ōwhiro Bay are also due for renewal, with feedback being collated following a consultation process.

Image top: Frank Kitts Playground upgrade view from wharf; view from park; aerial view. All concepts credit: Stantiall's Studios

Related Articles

19th April 2018 - Wellington City Council release concept for innovative new playground

14th October 2019 - Wellington City Council consultation sees playgrounds transition to play spaces

16th December 2021 - Adventure playgrounds to be included in first stage of Subiaco Oval Precinct development

16th December 2021 - Online platform being developed to make it easier to find sun-safe playgrounds and parks

24th September 2021 - Playscape Creations awarded tender to instal new Aqua Adventure Playground in Hervey Bay

2nd August 2021 - Works commence on Darwin’s Jingili Water Gardens inclusive playground

22nd July 2021 - The Hills Shire announces playground design chosen for Glenhaven Oval

24th May 2021 - Newcastle continues to upgrade playgrounds as part of its annual improvement program

29th March 2021 - Perth’s new Wellington Square intergenerational playground opens

9th February 2021 - Wagga Wagga Council releases design concepts for latest stage of Riverside playground

28th December 2020 - Penrith rolls out playground shade sails in time for Summer


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