Maidstone Max wins Playground of the Year

Published on 23 June 2022

Parks team with the award

Maidstone Max - Tō Tātou Papa Tākaro has won Playground of the Year!

We were absolutely thrilled to pick up this award at last night’s 2022 Recreation Aotearoa Parks Awards in Dunedin. We won this award when we first opened Maidstone Max, so to win it again for the redevelopment is special.

Maidstone Max was chosen as the winner for its inclusivity and accessibility, sustainability, innovative and integrated playground design, and for the strong community engagement we had when creating the concept.

You can watch our nomination video to learn more about the playground and it’s features on our project page.

Below is the summary read out last night:

  • This Playground of the Year Award is presented to any playground type that may stand along or sit within an existing park. It is for an outstanding place that may have natural or built structures with it.

  • Maidstone Max Tō Tātou Papa Tākaro is a popular landmark in the Greater Wellington Region, designed to transport children to a unique fantasy land. Originally built in 2001 the playground, underwent a major restoration process in 2018.

  • Council ran events and consultations at the playground to capture the views of the community. The process included fun activities for families and children, including votes on equipment, pictures drawn with the help of professional illustrators, and conversations around site wish lists and requests.

  • A stand-out feature of the playground is the overall design focus on inclusivity and accessibility, from specialist swings, ramp access to key playground features, to a pump track for learner scooter and bike riders. The park also shows great sustainability, through the incorporation of existing playground features and the use of recyclable and recycled materials - including Playtop’s Nike Grind surfacing, made from used sneakers and tyres.    

  • The overall process around this playground redevelopment needs to be commended. The project team went above and beyond to ensure that they catered to the needs of every type of park user. Playground redevelopment is never an easy task, but with careful and thoughtful consultation, design and construction, the Upper Hutt Maidstone Max is a playground that will stand the test of time and benefit users of all ages and ranges. 

It was an absolute privilege to deliver this project, to work with you, our community, local suppliers and contractors, and to have our opening events televised nationally on the AM Show!

We love seeing how much everyone is enjoying the new playground and skate park, and to now have the title of Playground of the Year - well that’s just the icing on the cake.

Parks team with the award

Photo (L to R): Conrad King and Kiri Whiteman from the Council Parks and Reserves team, and designer Leith McFadden from Playground People receiving the award