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Multi-million dollar playground a hit with South Auckland locals - but parking an issue

Natasha Hill

Hayman Park playground a hit, but finding a parking spot an issue

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

A $10.8 million playground in South Auckland has left some parents questioning the limited parking spaces available near the expensive project.

The Hayman Park Playground in the heart of Manukau has been open to the public for the past few weeks and has been a huge attraction for local families and children.

The redevelopment of the playground took over a year to finish and has a number of colourful features - including a 12.8m high play tower, two flying foxes, rope play equipment, a wave and pump track and an additional basketball half-court.

Hayman Park’s play tower includes a rock climbing wall, rope tunnel bridges and a rooftop seesaw. The tower is also the tallest playground tower in New Zealand - beating its nearest rival by 2.8m.

Since the opening over three weeks ago, people from all over Tāmaki Makaurau have regularly visited.

Papatoetoe local Jessica Perkins said it was her second time visiting the park with her baby on the day the Herald visited.

South Auckland's Hayman Park playground has had a huge makeover - but finding a car park has been an issue, locals say. Photo / Natasha Hill

She says they have been coming to the park as part of a play centre group.

However, it took over half an hour for the group to find parking and the spot she eventually found was on the other side of the park; making it quite the walk.

Perkins says parking has always been an issue for the Playcentre group, especially after school hours, where the limited parking spaces in front of the playground seemed to be always taken.

She acknowledges the public transport nearby but points out that most families come by their private vehicles.

Perkins also mentions the high costs of the build saying “Is it worth 10.8 million?”

”I really like it, but I would like to see where the money went.”

Shanelle Simon-Layug, who lives in Clendon Park, says it is her first time visiting the playground.

A mother of two daughters and a son, Simon-Layug agrees there are not enough parking spaces available near the playground.

“The place is clean and has an accessible toilet. It’s just the parking.”

She says they eventually ended up parking on the other side of the park but expe

rienced a lengthy wait time for available parking spaces.

Despite the parking issues she hopes the playground can be well maintained.

There are plans for further parking spots. Auckland Council Parks and Places team leader David Barker says they are also working on more than 25 park playgrounds across the city.

The park is close to Manukau Station and has good options for walking or scooting.

Auckland Transport has opened the nearby Ronwood Avenue carpark at weekends on a trial basis until the end of the year, with a view to it opening permanently for seven days, based on demand.

Hero Image: Hayman Park's play tower is the tallest in New Zealand. Photo / Natasha Hill

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