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Playground projects

Of our 191 parks and reserves, about 38 have playgrounds.

When developing the 2018-2028 10-year Long Term Plan, we identified a number of Hastings district playgrounds in need of complete replacement. The plan also includes minor improvements to some existing playgrounds that don’t require a complete replacement.

We have funding to fully replace two existing playgrounds a year. One of the objectives for the 10-year programme is to have all playgrounds in the district offering the levels of play provision set out in our Coming Out to Play Strategy. (To view this document head to our 'Strategies' page and scroll to 'Coming Out to Play Strategy'.)

View the programme for playground replacements/upgrades under the FAQs here.

Completed projects

Playground projects FAQs

We’ve been working hard on the following playgrounds which are now ready for you to visit. Go and check them out!

St Leonards Park

Completed: October 2023

Features: Dual toilet, off-street carparking, fully-fenced playground, shade sails, picnic tables, a custom stock truck, farm scene and cow rocker as well as swings, a carousel and climbing tower.

For more information, check out the St Leonards Park playground project page.

Ron Giorgi III

Completed: December 2022

Features: Flying fox, swings, a scooter path, see-saw, slide mound, shade sail, seating and drinking fountain. All of these features complement the recently installed basketball court.

For more information, check out the Ron Giorgi III playground project page.

Ngaruroro Avenue Reserve

Completed: November 2022

Features: New half basketball court, shelter with bbq and picnic tables, extra swing, climbing activities and dual flying fox, new paths, and seating.

For more information, check out the Ngaruroro Avenue Reserve upgrade project page.

Lawrie Cooke Reserve

Completed: November 2022

Features: Play equipment that is fruit theme-inspired (‘fruit bin’ climbing frame and slide, play tractor, fruity colour scheme and surfacing), and a  mini orchard with trees kindly donated by LE Cooke Nurseryman. 

For more information, check out the Lawrie Cooke Reserve Playground project page.

St Aubyn St Reserve

Completed: March 2022

Features: Climbing frame, swings, slide, spinner, seating, shade sails, scooter track and drinking fountain.

For more information, check out the St Aubyn Street Reserve playground project page.

Council’s Long Term Plan 2021-2031 outlines which playgrounds will be replaced or updated over the next 10 years. This plan includes replacement/upgrades of playgrounds at the below parks.

Over the next five years

  • Chatham Park
  • Bridge Pa Reserve
  • Ron Giorgi I Park
  • Te Awanga Domain
  • Kingsley Park
  • Eskdale Park
  • Akina Park
  • Grant Street Reserve
  • Keirunga Gardens

Over the next five to 10 years

  • Kirkpatrick Park
  • Farndon Domain
  • Anderson Park
  • Waimārama Domain
  • Len Harlen Park and
  • Nanny Kona Park

We are also proposing minor upgrades in the form of additional play equipment for the following parks:

  • Gregory Park
  • Frimley Park

We assessed all playgrounds when developing the programme. Those not listed in our programme were found in a good condition, therefore they don’t need replacement.

However, if a park’s equipment is damaged, it would be replaced as a matter of course.

As well as carrying out general maintenance and repairs, the team that looks after the playgrounds manages the refurbishment (adding new equipment or replacing individual items), full playground upgrades, and the development of new playgrounds.

Playground  refurbishments are 10 years ahead, always subject to available budget (set each year in the Annual Plan).

Overall condition and age of the equipment are key factors we consider when developing the programme for replacing playgrounds. A playground’s lifespan is about 20-25 years depending on its location. (Coastal locations typically have a shorter lifespan.)

Our plans for how we develop the park and playground are guided by the levels of play provision set out in our Coming Out to Play Strategy and depends on which category the park falls into: premier, key urban or neighbourhood. (See the next FAQ for descriptions of each category.)

Water features are typically installed on our high-use premiere parks, where they provide the most use for the level of investment. For health and safety reasons, the water cannot be recycled, so water conservation is another reason we only install water features in our busiest parks.

Community engagement

Before developing playground plans, we typically ask the park users and nearby residents (within 500m) what types of play equipment they would like included and how would they like to use the space. We usually do this through various channels e.g. online/print surveys, open days, flyers and school working groups. The feedback we receive during this process will help us design our plan for the park.


These are centrally located and easily accessible – attracting residents, visitors and tourists. Cornwall Park, Flaxmere Park and Havelock North Village Green are premier playgrounds, featuring unique play equipment for pre-school to secondary school age groups.

Visitors tend to spend an entire day at these parks due to the wide range of activities and amenities available.

Play equipment  Other amenities
  • Targets pre-school to secondary school ages
  • Unique play features (e.g. splash pad, skate area, basketball court, etc.)
  • Opportunities to kick a ball about
  • Spaces to gather and meet.
Picnic tables, seats, shade, carparking, toilets, bins, drinking fountain, lighting, BBQ and walkway.

Key urban

These usually have about five pieces of play equipment, and cater for a wider age range than neighbourhood playgrounds. They are typically within 800 metres of homes, and people typically stay a few hours.

Examples: Puketapu Park, St Leonards Park, Waimarama Domain, Eskdale Park, Kirkpatrick Park, Te Awanga Domain, Haumoana Memorial Park, Frimley Park, Meissner Reserve, William Nelson Park, Windsor Park (Lions Playground).

Play equipment  Other amenities
  • Targets multiple age groups
  • Five pieces of equipment minimum
  • Often include an informal area to kick a ball about.
Picnic tables, seats, shade, toilets (at park or nearby), bins, drinking fountain, may have BBQ, car parking nearby.


As their name suggests, neighbourhood playgrounds are designed to offer local residents a handy place for a play, and are within easy walking distance (500m) of homes. These usually offer equipment for at least one age group, typically pre-schoolers to primary.

Play equipment Other amenities
  • Target pre-school to primary school age groups
  • Three pieces of play equipment minimum.
Seating, shade trees, rubbish bins, paths to playground.

All play equipment and surrounding safety surfaces are inspected and maintained on a three-weekly cycle. They are expected to conform to the requirements of all current joint New Zealand and Australian safety standards and guidelines.

If you have concerns about the safe use of any play area or see damaged equipment please contact Council by emailing


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