Playground not disappearing 25 September 2015 Students from Thames primary schools are vigorously engaged in workshops with Council on exciting new designs for the Coromandel's busiest playground. The Porritt Park Playground toilet is not being plonked in the middle of the playground with no regard for the children and new play equipment will soon appear in the playground. In fact, students from Thames primary schools are vigorously engaged in workshops with Council on exciting new designs for the Coromandel's busiest playground. The old toilets and the Wakatere have reached the end of their useful life, and now, the Lions Club of Thames, which constructed the Wakatere in 1969, is working with us and the students on the new plans. The new site will also be much safer with children soon able to access the toilets from within the play. The skate park location options became limited when we discovered that older generations put the underground pipes in different places to the maps they left behind, and we can't have a manhole at the bottom of a skate ramp. The moment we move the Wakatere we'll end up paying a large portion of the new playground budget to meet current play equipment standards. If we leave it there to continue deteriorating, we'll eventually have to ban children from climbing on it, and remove play equipment from their new plans. It would be like taking them shopping for an iPad and giving them a typewriter instead. A look back at the consultation that led to the skate park is also worth taking from time to time. A massive community push during consultation on the 2012-2022 long term plan led to a project that includes the skate park, indoor sports facility and Rhodes Park. Active Thames 2018 began as an initiative by the Thames Community Board together with the Thames Sport and Education Community Trust, and the partnership has raised over a million dollars so far. The community commitment to these projects proves that many have kept informed about them, and worked hard to make them a reality. Admittedly, some people say they don't read the paper, don't listen to the radio, don't go check the websites, don't download Community Board order papers or attend public meetings, and say "why didn't I know about this?" Feel free to direct any such to our Thames Area Office for more information. No doubt those in the community who have been working hard on this project for the last few years would be glad of more volunteers. For more background on the Thames Urban Development Strategy see its strategy page on our website here. If you'd like to stay informed about consultations and community projects, sign up for your FREE eNewsletter here and get the information sent straight to your email inbox. If you'd like to be more involved in the things happening in your community, please get familiar with reading Community Board order papers (available online here) and then attend the meetings so you can stay fully informed. You will also see regular updates in your local papers and on your local radio stations, in regional newspapers and radio networks and on their websites, on our Facbook page, the rest of our website and the above mentioned options freely available to all who have been working on these projects to date. If you wish to raise a point to your local Community Board, you also have three-minute slot per person in the Public Forum at the start of every meeting. It is not a place to request answers from the Board or request money, but a place to pass information to the Board for the betterment of your community.