Return to home page

Matamata Domain playground upgrade


About the Matamata Domain playground upgrade

We’ve partnered with Matamata Futures to design an upgrade to the Matamata Domain playground. Official consultation kicked off in early May 2023, when Matamata Futures asked the community what they liked about the current playground and what they’d like to see included in the upgrade.

There were loads of great ideas, and we now have a concept plan that shows what the playground could look like. This playground concept has been designed with Te Aranga Design Principles and includes different types of play areas for developmental learning. It will utilise different forms of ‘play’ to promote fun and development in children – like formal play, informal play, imagination play, social opportunities, water play, advanced play, and nature play.

To create a really special space for our community and take full advantage of this once-in-a-generation opportunity, our concept design will cost more than the $1.5 million Council has committed to the project. To reach the higher $2.5 million target, Matamata Futures is fundraising for an additional $1 million to include all of the things you said you wanted. Read more about the wor Matamata Futures are doing here.

Then we went back to the community with the concept plan to find out which parts of the playground they loved and which bits they could live without (see submissions at the bottom of the page). That's going to help us create the final design, by knowing what can be left out in case the fundraising doesn’t reach its $1 million target. We’ll get the final playground design signed off within the next few months so that we're ready to go when the funding becomes available in July 2024. 

Stay up to date with the progress by signing up at (select Matamata Domain Playground Upgrade in the Projects section). 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does it cost so much to build a playground?

There is a lot to consider when creating a playground including design, equipment, construction, surfacing, landscaping and any upgrade of seating, picnic and BBQ facilities (not to mention, building costs have gone up substantially in the last few years).


Pick-a-Playground community submissions

We created some interactive puzzles to help capture the communities must-have items. Thank you for all your feedback, the consultation ran from 22 November to 9 December, and we had 151 submissions! 

There were four different ways to interact:

  • Digital - This was an interactive, online version of the puzzle, perfect for older children or adults to submit their ideas. 
  • Printable – This wss a 2D version of the puzzle, ideal for kids at home who need an activity. 
  • Library – A large 2D version of the puzzle was stationed at the Matamata Library as a fun activity.
  • Physical – We also created some 3D block puzzles that children could play with and complete. These were used at several different events:

Matamata Primary School Gala, 23 November

Play Day in the Park, 25 November

Matamata Twilight Market, 1 December 

Market and Craft Fair, 9 December

You can see the photos of all the final submissions below...


Project Timeline


Project budget and MOU approved

December 2022 - February 2023
Council executive team approval of memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Matamata Futures and the project brief.

Council approved $1.5 million funding for a playground upgrade in Matamata with Matamata Domain as the proposed location. Community consultation to be driven by Matamata Futures.



Research, community engagement, design and testing

May - July 2023

Matamata Futures to undertake information gathering, assessment of existing information, confirmation of scope and initial iwi engagement. We will then test some concepts with the community.

Matamata Futures launch Matamata Domain Playground Facebook page and webpage


Concept creation and approval

July - October 2023
Prepare concept plan based on early engagement ideas, feedback and testing. Put draft concept to staff and elected members for approval.



Draft concept taken back to public

22 November - 9 December 2023
Draft concept put to community for feedback and fundraising.


Fundraising and grants

November 2023 - July 2024

Matamata Futures to raise funds through grants and donations for any balance. Council funding is to be used on the build only.



Compile Feedback

January 2024

Receive and compile feedback and refine final design.

Formal adoption of final design

February 2024
Matamata Futures, staff and elected members to confirm preferred design and cost. Formal sign off by all parties to progress to tender, procurement and construction phase. 

Funding available

July 2024

Funding available for construction to begin on agreed date (TBA).

Playground Build

July - November 2024

Construction on playground begins!