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
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?
Thanks to all those who completed our online survey from 14 December - 10 January. It was great to hear all of your ideas and get a real sense of what you'd like to see at Thomas Park.
You let us know there's a lot you already like about the area and you're keen for us to make some improvements. Most people weren't too fussed on having a theme, although cows and farming stood out among the suggested options.
Your most requested activities included jumping, sensory development, climbing, balancing, spinning and crawling. Shade over play areas, additional picnic tables, seating, accessibility and separated/transitioned play areas for toddlers, juniors and seniors were also popular requests.
We put the call out to three playground design companies to come up with a design that fitted the brief and budget. We popped the three designs below and on display at the Morrinsville Library. They're just concepts at this stage, so although the final product may look a little different, you get the idea of what each design has to offer. Thanks to those who took part in our online survey from 01 - 18 April or popped to the Morrinsville Library to place your vote.
Key criteria in the designs include improving play value, meaning each playground piece is fun, engaging and will be well-used, ensuring the park caters to a wider age group and making it more accessible for people with disabilities or limited mobility. We have consulted with local iwi on the plans and the once we have a design, we will work with iwi for input on the final design.
Thank you for taking part, your participation has been invaluable.
We're installing a new accessible unisex public toilet, with baby-changing facilities, in a new more visible, safer spot. The toilet design is likely to be similar to the one near the Morrinsville i-SITE. Here is an idea of where the new toilet will be located (please note this is a concept only - the final design, location, placement and artwork on the outside is yet to be confirmed).
Check out the ideas and feedback you gave us last year
Click the buttons to show those answers:
What do you like about Thomas Park at the moment?
What do you think could be better?
Do you think the playground should have a theme? If so, do you have any ideas?
Fenced. Large area. Close to town.
Facilities. More modern playground like new ones in hamilton
Cows/dairy farming to fit with cows in town.
The shade, toilets and fenced off.
A free bbq area, maybe where the tree got cut down and more seating with cover. In ground mini tramps, water feature.
I really liked Thomas park when my kids were younger and it’s great that it’s very usable for small children to be mostly independent. The swings are always a bit and I love the picnic tables under the large trees
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?
I like the playground structure itself.
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
That it has a fence going around it so my toddler can explore without worry of going on the road or escaping. The swings are great and he loves the slide and seesaw.
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.
Nice and shady, good central location
Playground very dated. Kids would like barrel roll thing like the base, a flying fox and a better climbing structure and a better slide.
Large beautiful trees, lots of space, fully enclosed. Double 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.
The swings and the slide
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
The swing area is great, the Fort is mostly great and the big feature seat spinning swing is cool.
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
Location location location.
And the bbq benches being in the shade.
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
Good variety of play areas.
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
That it’s central to town
Toilets(no need to upgrade just a coat paint will do)
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
It is ideal that it is fully fenced however the gates are regularly broken with children being able to enter and exit at will - big safety issue.
The swings are a good variety however I have seen the big round swing break and is very loose.
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
Public survey opens
14 December 2021
Public survey closes
10 January 2022.
Ideas, feedback and Council recommendations presented to playground designers
Concept designs presented to the public for feedback
01 -18 April 2022
Chosen concept presented to Council
New playground installed
ETA September/October 2022
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.