Russell Blackstock is a senior reporter at the Weekend Herald and Herald on Sunday.

Swings get lift

Workmen install new swings at Delphine Reserve in Auckland. Photo / Michael Craig
Workmen install new swings at Delphine Reserve in Auckland. Photo / Michael Craig

Good news for Auckland kids - a programme to replace old T-Bar swings at city playgrounds amid child safety fears has swung into action.

The 87 T-bar swings at 69 sites around the city were installed at Auckland parks between 20 and 30 years ago. Metal fatigue and rust on the pipe which secures them into the ground is believed to be the cause of the problem.

New swings will be installed within the next few weeks at popular sites including Ellerslie Park, said the council's head of operational management and maintenance, Agnes McCormack.

"We are inspecting the region's T-bar swings for metal fatigue," she said. "We are replacing swings where we have found signs of stress or fatigue with new swings that aren't vulnerable to these stresses.

"We are reinstalling swings where there are no signs of stress or fatigue. The T-bar swings in Ellerslie Park were checked and found to be safe, so they will be reinstalled within the next couple of weeks."

The problem came to light last June when a set of swings collapsed at Oneroa beach at Waiheke island while a child was playing on them. Fortunately the youngster was unharmed.

The Herald last week revealed the Auckland Council is also demanding the removal of children's swings on street trees, in the name of safety and tree health.

However, a council spokesman said on Friday there is no proactive programme in place at present to remove them.

- Herald on Sunday

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