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Safety concerns in new playground

Flagstaff Team

Kids play in the pools last Saturday, water was deeper the next day

Heavy rain has exposed a safety risk in the popular new Windsor Reserve playground.

Water was pooling to around 20cm deep in a hollowed-out play feature in front of the centrepiece Bean Rock lighthouse slide on Sunday afternoon.

Blocked drainage through the porous rubberised base material appeared to be causing the pooling, with another hollow nearby almost clear of water.

Parents were ushering curious toddlers away from the sloping edge of the water- -filled hollow. Others, seemingly unaware of the risk, stood and chatted or relaxed on seating a short distance away as their children ran about the play area.

The Devonport Flagstaff asked Auckland Council if it was aware of the issue and if it was taking any action. It further asked if there might be a design flaw that needed to be fixed.

Devonport-Takapuna Local Board member Trish Deans had also been contacted about the pooling water, and was following up with Auckland Council.

Auckland Council said it was monitoring the issue and had sent its contractors to investigate. “All of the play rock pools drain into stormwater lines, which exit at the beach. One of these is at a lower level than the rest and a combination of very heavy rain and high tide levels can lead to a slower drainage rate, which is what happened last week,” said council‘s head of area operations – community facilities, Paul Amaral. If this continued to be a problem, options would be looked at to ensure safety standards were met, he said.

Amaral also said children’s play should be supervised, especially with the beach nearby.

This article originally appeared in the 3 July 2020 edition of the Flagstaff. Read online here.

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