Councillors, nicely done.

Putting back the Mosquito Point swing is the right decision.

Not only is it a win for common sense but it shows a council that can cut through red tape when needed.


Read more: Popular swing to return to Mosquito Point
Return of popular Mosquito Point swing still possible

Technically the swing is in breech of various things including council's own parks and open spaces strategy.

But councillors looked beyond the official advice before them which was not to re-instate the swing.

They found legal gaps to squeeze through - council parks team leader Wendy Bainbridge's reference to risk being "reputational" – reading a bit like a get out of jail card.

Josh Chandulal-Mackay probably spoke for all when he said: "We have a responsibility to manage and minimise risk, I don't think we have a responsibility to eliminate risk."

Mayor Hamish McDouall too offered a valid viewpoint: "We've got to have our kids experiencing risk and understanding that if you're going to climb up a tall tree you could just fall off and break your elbow or worse."

Popular opinion also came into the mix. Through various feedbacks councillors heard one clear message: People wanted the swing back.

There may have been deeper concerns. If council could not endorse a riverside swing because it posed too big a risk to the public, then how could it maintain rugby parks, skate bowls and adventure playgrounds, that pose statistically much greater risk of injury?


Perhaps the same rules did not apply in this case, but public perception is that with each new rule and regulation the line can move in one direction or another too far. In this case the rules were not a sensible balance between public safety and freedom to live life and learn.

Well done to councillors for making that distinction.

Meanwhile remember to check the river's clear before donning your togs and yahooing off a long rope.

Mosquito Point swing.
Mosquito Point swing.