For background information, please read The Playground Files.


Playgrounds of Concern are the unfenced playgrounds that Auckland parents (including me) judge to be too close to hazards like traffic, water, and off-leash dogs to be a safe place for a sole caregiver with more than one small child. That isn’t to say that they’re bad or dangerous playgrounds – many of them are fantastic! The concern is that children using the playgrounds are at risk from nearby hazards. The following list is organised alphabetically by Local Board, and then alphabetically by playground name/location. Where possible, I have included comments from the parent or parents who nominated the playground. In some cases I have nominated the playground myself, so the comment is from Kiwi Play Safe.

As always, if you can think of a playground that should be on this list, please send me the details (location, why you think it qualifies as a Playground of Concern, etc). Photographs of any of the playgrounds mentioned are always welcomed. And please contact me if you feel that the information below is inaccurate in any way.

Albert-Eden

Coyle Park playground

Point Chevalier Road, Point Chevalier

Date added: 23/01/17

Parents’ comments:

“Unfenced and very busy.”

“Really neat but unfenced.”

Gribblehirst Park playground

Cabbage Tree Swamp Drive (off Sandringham Road), Sandringham

Date added: 23/01/17

Parent’s comment: “Unfenced right on the road and adjoining a rugby club and a thoroughfare, so very busy traffic at times.”

Maungawhau Park playground

Corner of Mt Eden Road and Normanby Road, Mt Eden

Date added: 23/01/17

Parents’ comments:

“Is spread quite a wide distance so if you are with one kid on the flying fox and one wants to go on the swings you can’t see them. The swings are right by busy Mt Eden Rd.”

“I was going to mention this one on the corner of Mt Eden and Normanby Rds. Looks fantastic but not fenced on a really busy road.”

“I drove past this playground which looked great but very close to main roads.”

Devonport-Takapuna

Milford Reserve playground

Craig Road, Milford

Date added: 23/01/17

Kiwi Play Safe comment: The playground is far enough from the beach for water to not be a significant concern, but it is right next to the road, which is busy at all times at this very popular spot. The Reserve is also used by people exercising their dogs off-leash.

Windsor Reserve playground

Victoria Road, Devonport

windsor-reserve-devonport

Date added: 23/01/17

Kiwi Play Safe comment: This is a very popular playground is right next to very busy Victoria Road. It also has unfenced access to the beach. It’s definitely a space where you need eyes in the back of your head if you’re there with more than one small child.

Franklin

Parent’s comment: “I don’t think there are any fenced ones in Pukekohe, in fact the only covered or enclosed one is the McD’s one. There is nowhere to go if its too sunny or too wet, and most are by roads that I can think of – as I had to run after one daughter to stop her getting on the road while the other daughter was on the flying fox, I was not happy to have to do that.”

Kiwi Play Safe comment: In the Unitary Plan Pukekohe is destined to experience huge population growth in the coming decades. It would be a good idea if the Local Board got organised to provide decent leisure facilities for the young families that they will soon attract to the area.

Kevin Lawrence Park playground

King Street, Waiuku

Date added: 30/01/17

Parent’s comment: “The playground, which is nect to the library and Plunket rooms, is completely unfenced, just a few metres from a car park. There’s a general lack of playgrounds suitable for toddlers in Waiuku – they’re all better suited for preschoolers and primary age children. I had real trouble keeping my twins safe, and even the council check the safety but nothing changed…”

Henderson-Massey

Hart Domain playground

Vitasovich Avenue, Henderson

Date added: 23/01/17

Parent’s comment: “Great (as it is shaded) but unfenced and close to the main road and carpark!”

Te Atatu playground

595 Te Atatu Road, Te Atatu Peninsula

Date added: 23/01/17

Parents’ comments:

“Unfenced. I recall a petition a while back to get it fenced. Basically right next to the main road, so dangerous, can’t relax while my LO is playing there.”

“The one at the roundabout on Te Atatu Road (on the Peninsula) terrifies me!”

Hibiscus and Bays

Browns Bay Beach playground

Beachfront Lane, Browns Bay

Auckland Playgrounds of Concern image.jpg

Date added: 23/01/17

Parent’s comment: “I love Browns Bay playgound and I go there often but I would be lying if I said it was totally safe. I’m always on high alert looking after 2 kids with hazards all around: road, skate ramp, and the beach (which is down a level from the playground so not always that visible) all surround the playground. And the nature of the playground itself is quite built up so you can’t really see through to the other side. Meaning if you have more than one child to watch, it can be pretty busy. Still love it and still go there, but if it was fenced it would be more enjoyable as a parent.”

Kiwi Play Safe comment: I totally agree with the comment above – I’ve always been extremely wary of this playground, and avoid it much of the time, even with my non-running children. Although it is wonderful that it has exciting play equipment, with tunnels, and a covered slide, these elements make it a nightmare to watch more than one child. The land upon which the playground sits is also very narrow, making it very easy for a child to run off to the beach or out to the road – it’s only a few metres in either direction. We visited the playground a couple of weeks ago and witnessed a mother taking off at a sprint to prevent her toddler from making it to the nearby cars, even though the child had only a couple of seconds’ head-start, she was nearly in the traffic by the time she was caught. Add to the mix the skate park, and the presence of dogs being exercised off-leash (both on the grass, and on the nearby beach, making it easy for them to run up to where the kids are playing), and you really have to wonder why this particular playground isn’t already fenced.

Castor Bay Beach playground

The Esplanade, Castor Bay

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Date added: 23/01/17

Kiwi Play Safe comment: This is a huge favourite of ours, and one we frequently visit for play dates with twin friends. However, it would have been a no-go for me if my twins had been runners. The playground is right next to the road, and there’s a vehicular right of way separating the playground from the beach – and then there’s the unfenced access to the beach itself to consider! There’s also a boat ramp, making the traffic in the area very busy at times.

Harris Road playground

Harris Road, Millwater

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Date added: 23/01/17

Parents’ comments:

“There’s one in Millwater with zero fencing, tall bushes and is on an island between left and right lanes, plus side roads joining around it.”

“This playground has two baby swings, two bid kid swings, flying fox, spiders web/witches hat climbing frames, hammock swing, 2 littlies slides.”

Kiwi Play Safe comment: The range of equipment at this playground sounds fantastic, but it’s difficult to understand why it hasn’t been fenced, particularly given the presence of play equipment for younger children. Also, I’m sure it has a more official name than ‘Harris Road playground’, so please let me know if you can confirm it!

Kennedy Park playground

139 Beach Road, Castor Bay

Date added: 23/02/17

Parent’s comment: “Great park but it soooo needs a fence! My 2 yo thought it would be really funny to climb up out of sandpit area as I was packing up the twins and run towards the carpark laughing as I was chasing after her like a crazy woman. Such a shame as its got great shade where I chucked down the picnic blanket in the middle of the sandpit for babies!”

Manly Park playground

Laurence Road, Whangaparaoa

Date added: 23/01/17

Parent’s comment: “A very busy park and is unfenced next to roads, huge open drain, beach, and boat carpark. It would be awesome if they fenced this one! Would be lovely to be able to take them to the park and actually relax.”

Orewa Beach playground

Hibiscus Coast Highway, Orewa

Date added: 23/01/17

Parents’ comments:

“Right by the main highway. I’ve seen a kid run into it and actually be fully tackled by her mother to stop her being hit by a car.”

“Too close to main road with no fence.”

“I severely dislike this one. If I’m not tackling my daughter before she gets swiped by a car I’m bellowing at one of my sons who’s decided to go for a wander to the sea! So stressful.”

Rothesay Bay Beach playground

Rothesay Bay Road, Rothesay Bay

Auckland Playground of Concern image 5.JPG

Date added: 23/01/17

Kiwi Play Safe comment: This is a nice playground with a good range of equipment, and it’s set far enough back from the beach and the car parking area for those hazards to not be too much of a concern. However, it is right next to a stream, and is on a reserve where people exercise their dogs off-leash.

Sherwood Reserve playground

145 Glencoe Road, Browns Bay

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Date added: 23/01/17

Parent’s comment: “New, awesome, close to water, not fenced”

Kiwi Play Safe comment: This is such a fun playground, and it’s even got shade sails, However, there is a duck pond a short run straight down the hill from the play equipment, and the playground itself is right next to the car park, which also serves local shops and can get very busy. This playground was recently upgraded, and it’s clear that a decent amount of money was spent to make it more appealing (and that aim was definitely achieved), but it would have been nice if some of the budget had been diverted away from fancy park benches, and towards fencing to make it a safe place for young children.

Stanmore Bay Beach playground

Bright side Road, Stanmore Bay

Date added: 23/01/17

Parent’s comment: “Right by the carpark/boat ramp/beach with no fence.”

Howick

Cockle Bay Reserve playground

Shelly Beach Parade, Cockle Bay

Date added: 23/01/17

Parents’ comments:

“Playground, near to water… big drop off.”

“This one did my head in when the boys were littl! First thing they did was run to that drop off to have a look. We haven’t been back since!”

Lloyd Elsmore Park playground

Sir Lloyd Drive, Pakuranga

Date added: 23/01/17

Parent’s comment: “Isn’t fenced and right next to both carpark and road running through the park.”

Kiwi Play Safe comment: Please note that there are two playgrounds in this park, one of which is fully fenced and is included on the Auckland Fenced Playgrounds list.

Kaipātiki

Onepoto Domain playground

Sylvan Avenue, Northcote

Auckland Playgrounds of Concern image 7.jpg

Date added: 23/01/17

Parents’ comments:

“Great for bikes etc but close to water and unfenced”

“Hazardous in my opinion – it has dense bush in places and a duck pond.”

“Onepoto is definitely a nightmare! I am grateful my kids aren’t runners or I would never go there.”

Kiwi Play Safe comment: This playground is a lovely place to meet friends, but it is chock-full of hazards: busy car parking right next to the play equipment for younger children; a duck pond; lots of bushes and low planting in which younger children can get lost; at least a couple of paths that lead out of the park space and onto roads; and marshy water surrounding a lot of the park land. It’s also enormous, making it very difficult to keep track of more than one child – particularly if they’ve got their bikes or scooters.

Rewi Valley Reserve playground

Corner of Trias Road and Tetrarch Place, Totara Vale

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Date added: 23/01/17

Playground Safari: Read all about our visit to Rewi Valley Reserve here.

Kiwi Play Safe comment: This playground has the dubious distinction of being the one that inspired Kiwi Play Safe, albeit a year or two before I actually started this campaign. I took my children there when they were about 20 months old, and while I was lifting one of them out of a baby swing the other child toddled off towards the road. I only just spotted him before he was in the middle of the passing suburban traffic (and it’s quite a busy suburban road). The issue, as always, is that the play equipment is right next to the road, and although there is a low barrier fence, it provided no challenge for my toddler to climb over it. Down the hill from the playground there is also open water (a small stream, so nothing too major), and people exercise their dogs off-leash on the Reserve.

Spinella Reserve playground

Spinella Drive, Bayview

Date added: 23/01/17

Kiwi Play Safe comment: A couple of people have nominated this as a Fenced Playground, but it doesn’t qualify: it has a very open low fence – just one rail on top of posts – and it would be so easy to climb through that I don’t even think it qualifies as a Partially Fenced Playground. The play equipment is right next to the road, which is why the playground is on this list.

Māngere-Ōtahuhu

Mangere Boating Club playground

Kiwi Esplanade, Mangere Bridge

Date added: 23/01/17

Kiwi Play Safe comment: Unfenced and close to water.

Maungakiekie-Tāmaki

Mt Wellington War Memorial Reserve playground

Dunkirk Road, Mt Wellington

Date added: 23/01/17

Parent’s comment: “Unfenced, right near road, and people let their dogs off leash right by it.”

Waterfront Development playground

Waterfront, Onehunga

Date added: 23/01/17

Parent’s comment: “Dogs are a hazard – it is right by the offlead area and some people let their dogs rush onto the playground fighting etc. Have had this twice – only been there 3 times (plus picked up dog poo off the playground floor each time).”

Ōrākei

Little Rangitoto Reserve playground

Upland Road, Remuera

Date added: 23/01/17

Kiwi Play Safe comment: Unfenced and close to a busy road.

Mission Bay Beach playground

44 Tamaki Drive, Mission Bay

Date added: 23/01/17

Parents’ comments:

“Playground very close to carpark and beach.”

“Unfenced right on a car park to the side, is a highly busy area.”

“My toddler wants to go straight to the sea or in amongst it to the grassed area where there is usually a rough game of some sort going on.”

“OMG that was the worst, busy road, block wall onto a waterway. Boys wanted to climb the wall, I imagined them falling in, Mr 2 made a run for the road, the fountain, the playground, the beach, round and round we went, it was crazy, never again!!!”

Ōrākei Domain playground

Tamara Drive (near Kelly Tarlton’s), Ōrākei

Date added: 23/01/17

Parents’ comments:

“Is across the road from the beach and separated by a large grass reserve. You often see kids making a dash for the beach across the road. Luckily they normally get spotted as the road is very busy and most of the kids are too young for traffic light pedestrian crossings. It is a big grass space but 3yo can go very fast and it is hard for pregnant mums and grandparents to catch up.”

“Yes, plenty of grass between but I have seen children full speed running towards the road from the playground with parents trying to stop them before.”

“Yeah – it’s a great playground but could do with being fenced!”

Puketāpapa

Waikowhai Park playground

Waikowhai Road, Hillsborough

Date added: 23/01/17

Parent’s comment: “Isn’t fenced, right next to the carpark… and it’s also an off leash dog area. We love the slide there but every time we go I have to be extra alert as I’m always worried about the big dogs around.”

War Memorial Park playground

May Road, Mt Roskill

Date added: 23/01/17

Parent’s comment: “On a busy road – bike path/playground. It’s very big too so if you’re like me with 3 littlies, they all go in opposite directions and it’s really scary!”

Rodney

Parent’s comment: “There are no fenced playgrounds that I’m aware of in Kumeu, or anywhere near by. The closest could possibly be the one in Mairangi Bay!”

Kiwi Play Safe comment: The Unitary Plan allows for significant population growth around Kumeu. Hopefully the Local Board will start to address the shortage of safe playgrounds for local children very soon!

Muriwai Beach playground

Motutara Road, Muriwai

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Date added: 23/01/17

Parent’s comment: “Unfenced and my little guy used to run towards the road. Was quite stressful taking him there.”

Kiwi Play Safe comment: This playground is far enough away from the beach itself for water to not be an issue, but I agree that the proximity to cars is a problem. It has a very low border fence that wouldn’t slow down any child that can walk. It does have cool play equipment, though.

Upper Harbour

Hobsonville Point Park playground

Corner of Buckland Avenue and De Havilland Road, Hobsonville Point

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Date added: 23/01/17

Playground Safari: Read all about our visit to Hobsonville Point Park here.

Parents’ comments:

“Playground is wonderful but not fenced. Tall plants obscure view of children and roads surround it – not ideal.”

“It’s right next to those car parks too and the art you can climb on is in and out of the bushes, so hard to keep track of whether they’re climbing, hiding or road running!”

Kiwi Play Safe comment: I totally agree with these parents, and I think that this playground is a good example of one that has been designed to look good and be ‘different’, without necessarily anticipating what it will be like for caregivers who need to use the space with their children. Putting a fence around it would solve all of its problems!

Wainoni Park playground

Churchouse Road, Greenhithe

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Date added: 23/01/17

Playground Safari: Read all about our visit to Wainoni Park here.

Parent’s comment: “Has the splash pad which is fab, but the drain needs sorting as it clogs up and turns into a pool with zero fencing around, super dangerous and have reported to the council for a number of years, also the slide there is really wide a little sail (now they didn’t have any sail before) but in summer it gets very very hot!”

Waitākere Ranges

Huia Beach playground

Huia Road, Huia

Date added: 23/01/17

Kiwi Play Safe comment: Unfenced and near water.

Parrs Park playground

Seymour Road, Glen Eden

Date added: 23/01/17

Parent’s comment: “Isn’t fenced and right next to the carpark.”

Kiwi Play Safe comment: Although the following comment isn’t strictly relevant to this project, I thought that it was worth sharing: “Parrs Park is one that really bugs me regarding shade… I read in a council flyer that the budget for it was $900k yet provided not a scrap of shade.”

Titirangi Beach playground

Paturoa Road, Titirangi

Date added: 23/01/17

Kiwi Play Safe comment: Unfenced and near water.

Waitematā

Silo Park playground

Wynyard Quarter, Auckland CBD

Date added: 23/01/17

Parents’ comments:

“Near the settling ponds etc so I am always pretty vigilant.”

“Nice and modern and themed. Not fenced, busy road, the sea and a lovely grass hill to roll down direclty into a fountain.”

Victoria Park playground

Beaumont Street, Freemans Bay

Date added: 23/01/17

Parent’s comment: “A middling solution. It’s clear they tried to landscape it with planters to keep kids from the road. My child can find it anyway.”

Western Springs playground

Great North Road (near Auckland Zoo), Western Springs

Date added: 23/01/17

Parents’ comments:

“Super fun but if a child was to break loose and disappear at the back it’s straight down to ponds etc.”

“A lot of hazards… if you’re not watching (pond, bushes).”

Whau

Blockhouse Bay Beach Reserve playground

69 – 79 Endeavour Street, Blockhouse Bay

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Date added: 23/01/17

Parents’ comments:

“The Blockhouse Bay pirate playground was cool, although not fenced and a tall wall next to it that drops to the beach. My boys (a responsible 6 year old and a semi responisible 2 year old) were OK, but I could imagine little runners popping straight over the wall.”

“Yes! Love that playground, but the drop!!!”


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