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Last modified: 29 Jul 2020 10:20am

Some local communities may have noticed changes at playgrounds recently, as we have been reviewing the safety of play equipment around the district.

The Council wants to provide safe and enjoyable facilities throughout the district, and we’re working to ensure that sport and recreation facilities and play equipment are safe, meet relevant standards and work effectively.

As part of this review we’ve engaged an engineer to check the safety of basketball hoops in playgrounds.

This is partly in response to an incident in Auckland earlier this year, where a young man was seriously injured after the hoop he slam-dunked failed, and fell on him.Balketball

We have now checked around 16 hoops, and found that nine failed to meet the British Standard that we use as a safety guide.

In most cases we have been able to repair or upgrade these hoops, but those at Lake Coleridge, Castle Hill and Selwyn Huts are unable to be bought up to an acceptable standard.

Reserves Operations Manager Jonathan Crawford says the safety of users is hugely important for the Council, and the community would expect equipment to be safe for everyone using it. “After looking into accidents both here and overseas , we felt it would be best to take down the hoops that posed a potential risks to users, while we assess the best options for replacement,” he says. “These three hoops were more akin to what you’d typically see in a residential backyard, and not suitable for community use. In a residential setting a parent can keep a watchful eye over backyard activities, but we don’t have that ability – so we need to make sure the play equipment on all our reserves meets a high safety standard.”

The equipment will be replaced, and we are now talking to local communities to make sure any replacement equipment is the best fit for their residents’ needs – whether that’s another basketball hoop or other equipment that’s suitable for the community.

Selwyn residents have access to nearly 100 Council-provided playgrounds across the district – part of our network of over 330 reserves, covering 93 hectares, and giving everyone the opportunity to get outdoors and enjoy a wide variety of recreation activities.