Vandalism shuts playground

Only two swings and seesaws left behind

SIENA YATES
Last updated 10:24 08/11/2012
Sherry Enoka-Brown
Chris Hillock/Fairfax NZ
END IS NEAR: Sherry Enoka-Brown takes two-year-old Dayanie to the playground up to twice every day, but it will soon be gone.

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Dayanie Brown-Rite loves the playground at Dominion Park, and plays there at least once a day, but the two year old's favourite haunt is soon to be a thing of the past.

Hamilton City Council is planning to remove most of the playground, leaving only the two swings and seesaws, due to the ongoing vandalism and public safety issues.

Daniel Tito, who was in the area staying with family said though he is not a local, he could tell how important the playground was for local children.

''All the kids play down there. It's stupid [to take it away]. All my cousins go down there all the time, they all go down there to be sociable, have fun and catch up. It's just essential,'' he said.

Sally Sheedy, council's parks and open spaces manager said they were working with the community and had their support in doing what was ''best for the park''.

"The Nawton community...[has] reported fighting, broken glass and vandalism, all of which was making the playground and park unsafe for children, and was a health and safety issue. The playground equipment has also been repeatedly vandalised, some beyond reasonable repair,'' she said.

"From next week we'll be taking out some of the most damaged play equipment...we'll continue to link in with the community about what would be best for this park, as we do have money budgeted and would like to see improvements made to it. We're also continuing to work with other agencies on the issue of some of the behaviour there."

However, while Dayanie's mum, Sherry Enoka-Brown agreed the tagging on the playground looked terrible, she said there was simply nowhere else for small children to play.

 ''If the playground's gone then there's nothing else for [Dayanie]. There is another park down the road, but that playground is just too big for him,'' she said.

She said even if the playground was replaced it would inevitably end up in the same state. 

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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