Film crew and Te Matatini attendees ensure Splash Planet had a bumper summer

Splash Planet, the Hastings water and amusement park.
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Splash Planet, the Hastings water and amusement park.

Just released figures show that Splash Planet in Hastings had one of its best summers on record.

Splash Planet welcomed 112,981 people through its gates over the last six month season, the highest number in four years.

The financial report for the season is still being completed before it is presented to Hastings District Council in September.

Season highlights included the annual Ngati Kahungunu Iwi day, bringing 3434 into the park, and a day during the national kapa haka competition Te Matatini, which saw over 2237 contestants and supporters visit.

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As normal, the highest public numbers streamed through the gates between Boxing Day and the end of January, with more than 53,000 visitors in the month of January alone.

Almost half the visitors, or 47 per cent, were local.

Acting mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said it was wonderful both residents and visitors enjoyed the amusement and water theme park.

"We are all very proud of this much-loved facility." 

Outside of the norm was the booking of the park for four days before the season started by a company shooting a television commercial for an American audience.

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Splash Planet manager Peran Hutchings said the project saw 80 cast and crew brought into Hastings for six days.

"It was an impressive operation; and much more involved than we had expected."

"They wanted a different colour facade so they painted it to suit their needs, and then painted it back before they left. It gave us a nice freshened up paint job which was a bonus," he said.

The park is now undergoing its winter maintenance programme this year which includes the installation of a new water play structure.

The pirate-themed play equipment is being installed into the outdoor toddlers' pool.

Hazlehurst said continuing to upgrade attractions at the park was key to its success.

"The new pirate ship themed play for toddlers, which will be opened this summer, will be enjoyed by all our young families; it is an exciting new addition," she said.

The next season starts on November 13, with the park open seven days a week until February 6, after which it will be open weekends only until April 2.

 - Stuff

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