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New facilities to transform Porritt Park

15 July 2022

A substantial donation from a philanthropic couple will enable the transformation of Porritt Park in Thames into an enhanced playground with more accessible facilities that will attract children and whānau from near and far. 

Porritt Park Playground

As a 'destination playground', Porritt Park will be upgraded to:  

  • reflect the history of the area and the community’s input and involvement  
  • feature stronger and more challenging play equipment for all ages and physical abilities  
  • provide an all-day experience for families/whānau to come together 
  • become a gathering place of which we can all be proud. 
Porritt-Park-Children-Play-Equipment
Changing Places toilet facility  

It will incorporate a specially-equipped bathroom to meet the needs of disabled people who cannot use standard accessible toilets, enabling greater independence.

Porritt Park’s will be only the fifth Changing Places toilet in New Zealand.

The project is a unique collaboration between:

• the donors, who are providing the bulk of the funding  
• Philippa Muir of Future Landscapes, the renowned playground designer  
• our Council, including the Thames Community Board, which is supplying the land and ongoing maintenance and repairs to all the equipment, as well as key staff and elected officials to advise and support the entire project  
• Ngāti Maru, who are working with the designer on the stories and pathways to be incorporated into the playground 
• Thames Business Association, which is overseeing the community engagement and fundraising  
• Changing Places, which will be providing the specific equipment for the toilet facility.  

“We want this to become a gathering place with a bespoke playground unlike any other," says Philippa Muir, the playground designer.

The Thames Business will be overseeing the community engagement and fundraising for this project. “We’ll be starting with each of the schools in the Thames Ward, inviting them to give us an idea of what they’d like to see in the playground and having little competitions for them to enter," says Sue Lewis-O’Halloran, CEO of the Thames Business Association. The association will also be meeting with community groups and local businesses to get their support and input.   

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