Chapter 13

Wiri's agility-boosting playground

Wiri's agility-boosting playground - Manukau

This Wiri playground mixes the old and the new to boost resilience, agility and amenity in Manukau. The recreation space is located in Wiri Stream Reserve (by Trevor Hosken Road), and allows tamariki (children) to enjoy nature-oriented play next to Puhinui Stream.

Created by Eke Panuku Development Auckland – in partnership with Mana Whenua and the Manurewa Local Board, and incorporating co-design elements from the Wiri Central School students – the playground boasts traditional māra hūpara designs by Māori play specialist Harko Brown.

Hūpara is an umbrella term for Māori artefacts made from natural elements such as logs and rocks. The new playground is a māra (garden) rich with such materials; local kids will build their connection to nature while building fitness, agility, physical skills and confidence through play.

The playground has been designed to be ideal for children of a wide variety of abilities, with usability and accessibility at the forefront of the design process. It is also part of the broader vision to restore health to the people, place and nature of Te Puhinui. The Puhinui Stream runs through the heart of this community, and is a critical natural asset for Manukau. This wider regeneration programme, ‘Te Whakaoranga o te Puhinui’, seeks to ensure that the water is clean and healthy, that neighbourhoods are connected and safe, and that the natural ecology of the area is thriving.