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Thomas Park playground concepts - Tell Tom!


You told Tom!

What a fantastic turn out! Hundreds of people voted for their favourite playground concept design for Thomas Park, with Concept A coming out on top.

We heard from a great range of people including about 500 children, over 200 parents/caregivers, teens, grandparents, other users and people who were just interested in what was going on at the popular Thomas Park. 

As well as receiving over 50% of the overall vote, about half of those who voted for Concept B or C chose Concept A as their second choice, so we're fairly confident the majority of people who voted will be pleased as punch with the playground heading their way. 

What now? We’ll review your feedback, work with local iwi on opportunities for cultural expression in the design and run it by a certified playground expert to check all the bits and bobs work well together and comply with the safety standards.  

Then it’s time to place our order, book the installers and away we go!   

As all of the designs were concepts, we’ll need to run the winner by the experts and see what works and what doesn’t in real life. The final product may look a little different, if so, we’ll let you know what additions/changes have been made so you and all the fabulous kids who took the time to vote, know what to expect. All going well, a new playground will be coming your way in September/October this year.

Thank you for taking part! Scroll down to see the winning design and check out how many votes each playground received.

Click on each portion to see vote numbers

Latest news about this project

Frequently Asked Questions

What is this project about?

Thomas Park, located on the corner of Anderson Street and Moorhouse Street in central Morrinsville, is due for an upgrade. From 14 December 2021 to 10 January 2022 we asked our young friend Tom to see what your ideas are to make it a great place to stay and play. 

We know Thomas Park already has so many great features – it’s fully fenced, close to town, has picnic tables, seating and has the Plunket rooms and public toilets onsite. We were keen to hear how we could make it even better. 

There are lots of things to think about when it comes to playgrounds – having a range of equipment that appeals to different age groups, making sure children and adults can easily access the play equipment (traditional raised framing can be a bit of a hurdle for some), good seating and a nice safe atmosphere. 

We already have plans to build new loos (with baby changing facilities) in a safer spot, remove some play equipment that’s come to the end of its life, install a spinner, improve accessibility and replace some seating that is a bit worn out. We were keen to hear what else could we do? We also wanted to know, should we have some sort of theme?


Check out the ideas and feedback you gave us last year

Click the buttons to show those answers:

What do you think could be better?

Do you think the playground should have a theme? If so, do you have any ideas?


Facilities. More modern playground like new ones in hamilton

Cows/dairy farming to fit with cows in town.

A free bbq area, maybe where the tree got cut down and more seating with cover. In ground mini tramps, water feature.

Cow theme

Updating the toilets would be a huge plus! Also having some extension to the playground for older kids. Shade over the swing area would be great too (or put new swings under the trees).

I think the idea of Tom is cool! Maybe go with that?

Water features, similar to Hamilton lake playground for the children to engage with. flying fox, maybe a few sustainable gardens ect for the community to pick from ie. Herbs and seasonal fruit.

A mini playground for the preschoolers one that isn't to high or advance for them to climb, also shade coverings to protect children when they play.
Maybe a mini road track with signs and road markings similar to the advantidrome in Cambridge for the children to ride their bikes.

Natural and sustainable

There needs to be shade for the kids especially on the hot days. And easy access to the slide for smaller children as they cannot climb up the ladders safely.
Maybe creating a obstacle/slide playground for the younger children who don’t have the balance and skills older children have.

Playground very dated. Kids would like barrel roll thing like the base, a flying fox and a better climbing structure and a better slide.

A playground suited to toddlers and younger children. The one at the base in Hamilton is a good example of being accessible to younger and older kids. Stairs they can access slides etc on their own. Ladders are too hard for them.
A concrete bike/scooter loop. Make use of the trees as a play destination.


If there is room for a flying fox I think most kids would love that,those round things they sit in and spin

Nah long as it's fun they will love it

Take away the toilets as they are a target for vandals. Change the springs out of the see saw as they get moisture in and make really grinding noise. Make the castle part higher so all sizes can fit into it and make so the roof can't be climbed and broken.
Where the roller walk is, add lower handles so smaller people can hold on too. Across the front by the tables, make it an all ages fitness circuit since older kids insist on taking over the place, maybe this might be more interesting than the current playground.

As it is by the Plunket, it could flow from baby play to toddlers to kids ti teens/adults. Otherwise it is a farm town so that theme is easy.

Add flying Fox and spider web climbing frame


Interactive recycling centre / bins so adults can teach their kids how to recycle.

Would need a bigger, probably different gate (so council vehicles can access the recycle station), a water fountain for washing the bottles / cans that ppl bring along.
And a step so the kids can actually put recycle in the bins.

Plans to include a (future) compost bin would be useful, and a raised garden - somewhere the kids can 'see' the food waste being used.

The current bins are always full and this is a very simple way, to reduce rubbish to landfill while teaching kids about recycling. Win-win.

Often (twice a week) I walk passed and see ppl eating sushi which comes in paper bags, or reading the newspaper, often ending up in general rubbish so going to landfill.

Recycling and composting vs rubbish-to-landfill

A sunshade for the swingarm as they dont get any natural shade.

Some grease r oil for the seesaws, they are very noisy.

More picnic tables and shade over swings, playground and seesaw and better toilets

I'm not fussed

Replace all bark With new soft matting, put soft matting around all new equipment that is going in.
A big sun shade as the trees don’t shade some areas throughout the day.
replace fencing & gates.
Make the ground level where there is no play equipment
A smaller playground for babys/toddlers within Thomas park(Taupo has this)
Small in ground tramps(Taupo & Hamilton have these)

Just a fun colourful welcoming theme!

I have attached a photo of taupos new playground,you’ll see the soft matting & the smaller fenced of Playground the the smaller kids

A total overhaul would be good. I don’t think money should be wasted on the toilets as there are new ones across the road at countdown!
The money should be all used on the play equipment.
Hamilton have some great examples of really fun and functional playgrounds for children of all ages.
Also a small bike track around the playground would be good use of space.

No but there needs to be an area for toddlers and babies to play. Taupo has a good example of a fenced off small playground for littlies

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Project Timeline


Public survey opens

14 December 2021



Public survey closes

10 January 2022.


Ideas, feedback and Council recommendations presented to playground designers

Early 2022


Concept designs presented to the public for feedback

01 -18 April 2022

Chosen concept presented to Council

May 2022

New playground installed

ETA September/October 2022

Top choice

The most preferred playground design will be further assessed for compliance by Council and a certified playground expert. In the event it is not suitable, we will further assess the second most popular.