Unique natural playground

A Bluff early childhood centre has a new take on the modern playground.

Te Rourou Whakatipuranga O Awarua bilingual early childhood education and care centre officially launched its new and unique playground yesterday.

The playground was made of natural materials and was built to reflect the community and show the centre's connection to the Te Rau Aroha Marae. It included a rocky shore, a walkway, a boat named Takitimu and a whare.

Manager and head teacher Shelley Osborn said the three-year plan had taken hard work and fundraising with raffles, scratchie boards and housie nights.

The centre's 47 enrolled children would enjoy the playground and learn about their community and culture, she said.

Parent Tracie Cook said she had never seen a playground like it. The children loved it and it enabled them to go outside, explore and play.

The Southland Times