A new children's playground in Tikipunga is a step closer after the Whangarei District Council paved the way for the land to be transferred into its hands.

Last week the council approved finalising of the deal to buy the land on the corner of Corks and Vinegar Hill roads. The purchase price is a nominal $1.

The Tikipunga Protestant Children's Home closed in 2013 and in 2015 representatives of the home approached the council with a proposal to provide land for a children's park on the corner of its 10ha site.

Trustee David Reyburn said the council could now start the planning and design process.


"We hope it won't be too long before something physical happens on the site."

He said part of the agreement is the council consult with the children's home trust and the community about what they want at the site.

Last December the council agreed to cover the cost of consenting and subdividing the site. This was originally estimated to be about $45,000, but has been revised to $18,000.

The council also took on the responsibility of the maintenance of the 4000sq m park once it is established. The trust is contributing about $100,000 as a further gift towards the park's development.

The council has also agreed to consider the park's development as part of its 2018 Long Term Plan.

Councillors at the meeting last week thought the playground would be a welcome addition to the community.

Councillor Tricia Cutforth said it was "an incredibly generous offer". She said Tikipunga was a growing area in need of a children's playground.

Trustee Stephanie McMillan said the trust wanted to do something for the children of the area to align with the vision of the founding Potter family.

"We want it to still benefit children. We thought a playground would be a lovely thing."

She said it seemed a good location for a playground.

Mr Reyburn said the trust was established in 1925 by the Potter family and the home was built in 1939, originally to care for orphans. Since closing in 2013 it has been used by various groups who are looking after children in need.