After three years in the planning, Hawke's Bay Hospital's paediatric playground was officially opened this week, offering an attractive and fun oasis for the hospital's youngest patients.

About 50 people attended the opening and blessing of the facility by Maori Health Services on Wednesday morning.

The younger guests cut the ribbon, released balloons and got to explore the natural play materials including a small whare, interactive drums, swing seats and garden areas.

The playground was part of the Piki Te Ora Early Childhood Centre, and was created by the Hawke's Bay District Health Board's Piki Te Ora hospital play specialists with the help of local landscape designers Espaso Verde and Leanne Sanderson from The Nest Early Childhood Centre.


DHB communities, women and children's directorate service director Claire Caddie said the space was finally a reality thanks to the accumulation of funding received by the Ministry of Education, backed by a dedicated project team, including hospital play specialist Racheal Hall as well as project co-manager Hannah Wilson.

Construction to revamp the playground began in August this year, although the architectural design had been worked on for some time.

"The transformation is just stunning considering before it was just grass.

"It's not something children can clamber over because these children are unwell - it's just a lovely, interactive, sensory place for them to spend time outside in, which will also be used by families visiting with children."