Shade on the way for Wellington playgrounds

Shade on the way for Wellington playgrounds

Lyall Bay's beachfront playground will be revamped later in the year. PHOTO: Rosa Woods.

The capital’s playgrounds are set to get a lot shadier, according to Wellington City Council’s updated play spaces policy.

The policy update is in response to pressure from the city strategy committee, which recently suggested councillors should consider making the city’s play areas more sun safe.

Earlier in the month, parks, sport and recreation planner Bec Ramsay said new playgrounds built in the capital should include shade.

Ramsay believed playgrounds needed to have shaded areas in order to reduce the high rates of skin cancer in New Zealand.

(Shade was)  “something we have to seriously consider for future parks. There’s no use in having an amazing playground if it isn’t safe,” she said.

When the full council met to review the policy, Councillor Simon Marsh supported the recommendation to include shaded areas in future parks and playgrounds.

“We don’t put enough importance on the need for shade in areas like playgrounds. Skin cancer in this country probably causes more problems down the track than people falling on then heads in playgrounds,” he said.

Councillor Paul Eagle said the policy update was much needed as it had not been reviewed in 15 years.

Eagle had more good news for future of the city’s playgrounds. “There will be no decommissioning or closure of any playground, in fact there will be an enhancement,” he said.

Councillor Jill Day also believed it was time to update the play spaces policy. She was “really pleased to see that we’re not decommissioning any playgrounds.”

The council voted unanimously to update the play spaces policy including a playground shade requirement.

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