Passionate plea to maintain elephant slide

Oamaru's elephant slide.
Oamaru's elephant slide.
Oamaru grandmother Fay Daniell yesterday made a passionate plea to save the elephant slide in the Oamaru Public Gardens.

The elephant, donated to the playground by the Oamaru Round Table in 1981, no longer measures up to New Zealand Safety Standard codes and contractors have already removed the ladder and slide.

Mrs Daniell, wearing a Santa hat, told the Waitaki District Council's public forum yesterday that Santa and her were very unhappy with what was happening to the "lovely" elephant slide.

Her grandchildren "just love that slide" and she was sure local service and community groups could help raise money to fix it.

Asked by Cr Jim Hopkins if she had formed Friends of the Elephant, Mrs Daniell said she would "love to".

She had heard people say they would sign a petition and, when contacted after the meeting, she said she intended organising one.

"We're just so PC [politically correct] and it's just time we were a bit more un-PC," she told the meeting.

Corporate services group manager Stephen Halliwell said the elephant was "undergoing a health audit".

The slide had to be removed as it was unsafe and was not meeting standards.

The elephant structure was being assessed to see whether it was safe.

The council would be looking at repair options, including the possibility of working with service clubs, and a report would be made to the corporate services committee in the New Year.

The council might also consider whether the current site was an appropriate location, Mr Halliwell said.


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