Rawhiti Domain - Proposed natural play area

We would like to hear your views about developing a natural play area on Rawhiti Domain.

Project status: Closed for feedback
Open for feedback: 11th February 2021 - 8th March 2021
Area on Rawhiti Domain where a natural play area is proposed

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 This project is now closed

People were able to provide feedback from 15 February to 8 March 2021. 

During this time we heard from 21 individuals and groups. You can read their feedback [PDF, 15 KB]. The next step is for the Coastal Burwood Community Board to consider the staff report before making their decision to approve or not approve. This is scheduled to to take place at their meeting on 12 April 2021, 4.30pm, Community Board Rooms, Union Street, New Brighton.

 The staff recommendation to the Coastal - Burwood Community Board was to approve the proposed playground. This was done at their meeting on 12 April. Construction will begin late 2021.


A wonderful opportunity exists to enhance the Rawhiti Domain with a natural play area. Eastern Community Sport and Recreation (ECSR) have successfully bid for ‘shovel ready Government funding’ to enable this project.

ECSR and the Guardians of Rawhiti Group have worked together to produce a landscape plan for a play area that aligns with the vision of our Rawhiti Domain and Thomson Park Management Plan 2007.  The aim is to construct a natural play area that:

  • Enhances natural values
  • Uses planting that reflects the coastal environment and/or provides shelter, amenity or ecological value
  • Attracts more birds, butterflies and wildlife
  • Increases informal recreation
  • Improves accessibility

The proposed natural play area is located in the wooded area at Rawhiti Domain between Keyes Road, the athletics track, tennis courts and the existing shared pathway.

The aim is to use the existing woodland and sand dune contours to enhance this area for natural play. Nature play allows children to play freely, explore and experience the natural environment and be physically active. The following activities are proposed to promote and encourage play in nature.

  • Woodland gardens and new native planting including species that encourage butterflies. The existing woodland area is home to monarch butterflies overwinter.
  • Dirt paths that follow natural lines for running up and down or circuits
  • Logs, steps, boulders and log runs
  • The accessible fort at the high point of the play area
  • Teepee Village
  • Embankment slide
  • Timber merry-go-round
  • Net nests
  • Central tree platform in the middle of the woodland area
  • Carved poles with butterfly patters
  • Seating including park benches, picnic tables and informal seating

Trees and planting

Existing trees will be tidied up as part of the project.  Some of the existing shrubbery will be removed to improve suitable sight lines throughout the site. Proposed planting will be appropriate for the coastal environment and species will be selected, where possible, to encourage butterflies.

Existing playground

There is an existing playground beside the tennis court that will reach the end of its useful life within the next 5 to 10 years. When that happens it will be removed as the new play area will be well established by then. 


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Who to contact

Kim Swarbrick,
Engagement Advisor

How the decision is made

  • Closed for feedback