Kaitaia's busiest children's playground is getting an upgrade thanks to a newly created ''placemaking'' fund for community-driven town improvement projects.

Kaitaia's Jaycee Park, on South Rd opposite Te Ahu, will close on February 25 for the revamp and is due to reopen by March 15.

The existing playground will be expanded with a boat-shaped climbing platform with decks at different levels, steering wheels, telescopes, slides and a crawl tunnel, all suitable for under-5s.

New swings, including a parent-child swing and a basket swing suitable for infants, will also be added.


Te Hiku Community Board chairwoman Adele Gardner said the new playground was part of a wider revamp of the park that will eventually link Jaycee Park, also known as Centennial Park, and the nearby skate park.

It was a response to requests for play equipment suitable for younger tamariki.

The funding will come from a $100,000 Placemaking Fund, created by the Far North District Council last year and split between the district's three community boards.

Stage one of the upgrade will use up Te Hiku Community Board's share of the fund for this year, just over $33,000, plus another $20,000 from its own funding sources.

Gardner said Jaycee Park was a priority because of its central location and popularity.

The community board aimed to add more features in future such as shade sails, drinking fountains, picnic tables, seating, lighting and concrete paths.

"Unfortunately, our funding does not cover all of these additions, so we're writing to local businesses and organisations seeking sponsorship to help pay for these."

Existing play equipment, including the train, will remain.

However, the future appearance of the whole area will be up for discussion when stage two of the revamp, aiming to improve connections between the playground and skate park, goes out for consultation.