20151222 New family destination is an important part of inner city revival 370x298Coffey was pleased to take part in the opening of one of the largest playgrounds in the southern hemisphere, which has given Christchurch children an early Christmas present.

The Margaret Mahy Family Playground, named after New Zealand’s most acclaimed children’s writer, has been designed with input from the city’s school children and to reflect Canterbury’s four main habitat types with a forest zone, a peninsula zone, a plains zone and a wetlands area.

The playground was project managed by Coffey as part of its comprehensive services to the Te Papa Ötäkaro/Avon River Precinct.

It evolved as collaboration between local children, Ngāi Tūähuriri, play equipment specialists and designers. An additional feature is a Story Arc, which includes works by Margaret Mahy and writer and historian Elsie Locke highlighting the important contributions by the two authors to children’s literature, along with stories from Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu.

Coffey project manager Andy Richards said he was proud to have contributed to the completion of the inner city development.

“Like any major project, this one came with challenges, particularly around site remediation and management and the complex coordination of multiple of subcontractors working on a very congested site,” Andy said.

“But we worked closely with the client, CERA, the main contractor, City Care Ltd/ JFC Ltd – Joint Venture, consultants and stakeholders to bring the project on stream in time for summer.”

Covering 5000m² the playground was built at a capital cost of $3 million, which included $2 million of play equipment including a double flying fox, a four metre wide slide, a spider climbing net and water-play areas.

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) Chief Executive John Ombler said the playground was expected to be popular during the summer months.

“With a number of food concessions opening in the picnic area, the playground is truly designed to be a family destination for the holidays,” John said.

“Other features will be added progressively in the New Year, so there was a lot to look forward to over the summer months.”