Sandra is a senior crimes and justice reporter for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Work sees seniors' gym on track for reopening

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Trish Tuckey says occupational therapists for the elderly should have been consulted before the  gym was installed in Kulim Park. Photo / Andrew Warner
Trish Tuckey says occupational therapists for the elderly should have been consulted before the gym was installed in Kulim Park. Photo / Andrew Warner

Tauranga's first gym for older people in Kulim Park is expected to reopen later this week after the addition of handrails and a ramp.

The $26,000 outdoor exercise facility was designed to help keep people fit and healthy.

The project was an initiation sparked by Seniors United to Promote Age-Friendly New Zealand (Supa-NZ) which worked hard to fundraise for it.

But the gym was shut within days of its opening last month amid safety concerns.

The gym is on track for reopening.
The gym is on track for reopening.

At the time Mayor Stuart Crosby said council was working with Heritage New Zealand to see if the platform base could also be lowered.

Supa-NZ national convenor Carole Gordon said in the past couple of weeks there had been a number of complaints made to council's executive about the gym project.

"It would be great if council seeks to deliver the best solution for the community."

Ms Gordon said there were plans to add more gym equipment in the future.

Otumoetai retiree Trish Tuckey believed there should have been more consultation before the gym was installed, including input from occupational therapists for the elderly.

"It's a great concept. ... but it is a bit of a tricky thing to do when some users have a propensity for falls, and they may need to be supervised when using the gym."

Heritage New Zealand spokesman Ben Pick said the organisation was working with Tauranga City Council to address any issues so the facility could become operational as quickly as possible.

Council spokeswoman Rachel Schicker said the remedial works were almost completed and the gym was expected to open again by the end of the week.

An auditor would carry out a final check before it was opened to the public.

Ms Schicker said the council had no plans to lower the gym base.

"The way it has been installed is in line with the manufacturer's recommendations, and is consistent with similar outdoor recreation facilities across the city.

"The gym meets all safety standards and a number of small additional changes would make it easier to use, including installing a ramp and handrails, "she said.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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