Themed activity area may replace slide

A themed activity area modelled on the Elephant Rocks near Duntroon is one option being considered for the elephant slide in the Oamaru Public Gardens.

The elephant, donated to the playground by the Oamaru Round Table in 1981, held sentimental value for some people but, in its present state, was unsafe for children to play on, Waitaki District Council corporate services committee chairman Cr Peter Twiss said.

The council was considering whether to repair or rebuild the structure, replace it with modern play equipment or build a themed activity area in a different area of the playground.

That structure would have improved play values, including sliding and climbing options, and would have a reference to the elephant slide.

Weston grandmother Fay Daniell, who made a passionate plea to the council to save the elephant, which included presenting a petition, said she had "quite mixed emotions".

She had wanted to see the slide and elephant repaired and retained.

An informal survey by Room 8 pupils at Weston Primary School showed more than 80 pupils favoured the elephant rock idea while 45 voted to replace the existing slide with a new elephant.

The class will present a submission to the council today.

Once a decision was made on the most appropriate option, the council hoped to have the support of service clubs for the creation of the new play feature, in the same way they supported the elephant nearly 30 years ago, Cr Twiss said.


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