Garden of Tāne nature play space

We're planning a nature play space to extend the existing play area in the Garden of Tāne in Akaroa.

Project status: Closed for feedback
Open for feedback: 7th March 2022 - 28th March 2022

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Garden of Tāne gateway image

 You can view the consultation feedback and project team response 

Submissions [PDF, 3.3 MB]

Consultation summary [PDF, 105 KB]

Project team response to feedback  [PDF, 45 KB]

Garden of Tane Nature Play Space plan for Board Approval [PDF, 799 KB]

Update April 2022

Consultation on the Garden of Tāne Nature Play Space proposal has closed. People were able to provide feedback from 7 - 28 March 2022. During this time we heard from 51 individuals and groups. 

What we're planning

As part of their ongoing commitment to carry out projects identified in the reserve management plan, the Garden of Tāne Reserve Management Committee(external link) has developed a plan for a new nature play space, in keeping with the overall character of the reserve.

They have done this with support from Christchurch City Council, Ōnuku Rūnanga, a local Maori carver and a landscape designer.

Key features of the proposed play space

Children can use their imaginations and play together ‘in the bush’ in the planned play space set amongst the trees near the existing playground.

Proposed play equipment includes:

  • A ‘folly’ hut or whare of local macrocarpa cladding and kanuka slat roof. This will be set on a raised deck reached from a path, deck and steps.
  • Large oak logs and rounds that can be used for balancing, climbing and imaginative play.
  • A woven timber walkway made from a series of raised timber planks.
  • Bamboo musical chimes.
  • Timbers recovered from Robinsons Bay wharf and logs to retain the safety surfacing mulch and also provide balancing and climbing options.

You can view the concept plan [PDF, 1.8 MB] in full detail.

Honouring the tradition of Tāne Mahuta – God of the Forest and Birds

Māori designs expressing the tradition of Tāne Mahuta include naming of the timbers used in the play area, drawings and carvings of insects with their Te Reo Māori names, and illustrations and kowhaiwhai patterns on the whare posts.

An interpretation panel will bring together the features in the play area with a separately planned carving of Tāne nearby in the reserve - tying together the story of Tāne's realm."

Low landscape planting will help blend the play space into the existing garden areas, and all timber will be locally sourced.

The Reserve Management Committee, as an elected sub-committee of the Te Pātaka o Rākaihautū/Banks Peninsula Community Board, has been working since 2012 to enhance the character of the reserve as a ‘mysterious but cared for wilderness.’

Akaroa’s Garden of Tāne occupies land first set aside in 1874 for a public domain and is home to an extensive collection of mature specimen trees planted in its early years.

Now nurturing extensive native regeneration, the reserve is crisscrossed with tracks to explore and places to visit – including a long-established children’s play area near the main entrance to the reserve at the corner of Rue Jolie and Aylmers Valley Road. 

Ōnuku Rūnanga and Te Pātaka o Rākaihautū/Banks Peninsula Community Board support the Reserve Committee’s plans to fundraise for the installation of a pou -  a carving of Tāne - to celebrate the reserve and all the work that’s been done to upgrade paths, play spaces, gardens and signage.

A large totara log donated for the carving of Tāne is expected to be about 3-4 metres high including the lower half as the log in its natural state. The pou will be set in ‘The Grotto’ – a little further into the reserve beyond the play space.

Next steps

We’ll consider all feedback and update the plan, as required. A staff report and the updated plan will be presented to Te Pātaka o Rākaihautū Banks Peninsula Community Board for their approval. Once approved, construction is planned for completion in spring 2022.


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Who to contact

Philippa Upton,
Engagement Advisor

How the decision is made

  • Closed for feedback