Park upgraded to remember Zeke

The Clinton triangle playground, will soon be upgraded with a hamster wheel and monkey pole...
The Clinton triangle playground, will soon be upgraded with a hamster wheel and monkey pole installed in memory of Zeke King. PHOTOS: SUPPLIED
A playground upgrade in Clinton will be complete in the next two months and the organisers have hit their ultimate goal.

Ella and Matthew King have raised funds for years to upgrade the Clinton triangle playground in honour of their son Zeke, who died at 10 months of sudden unexplained death in childhood (SUDC), a category of death in children between 1 and 18 years old that remains unexplained.

The family was in the final stages of turning Clinton playground into a tribute to Zeke, who would be turning 10 this year.

They, along with the help of many donators, friends and kind-hearted people, raised more than $25,000 — and the Clutha District Council matched their fundraising with $30,000.

The money will allow the team to purchase their ultimate goal of a hamster wheel.

A monkey pole will also be installed, and a working bee will be held to tidy up the playground and triangle area.

Mrs King said it was her "ultimate dream end project," but some people were seemingly not as happy with the idea.

Zeke King would have turned 10 this year.
Zeke King would have turned 10 this year.
"We were very shocked that we were donating this money, but some people actually opposed the spending on the playground," she said.

"We had to hold a community meeting recently, which 35 people came to, to discuss people in favour and against the money the council had donated, which we had applied for through the ‘Our Place Community Plan’ funding which was allocated to Clinton.

"A few people didn’t seem happy about it because I think they thought it was going to affect the rates.

"But once we had the community meeting to explain things, we had a vote and the majority were in favour of the playground works.

"We have pretty much fundraised for each piece of the playground, aside from a couple of small donations from the council in previous playground fundraisers."

"The ‘Our Place’ fund is to help beautify community-led projects and have them up and running."

The couple have had many generous offers of volunteer help from people to get the last piece of their playground puzzle installed.

The final playground pieces will be installed via a working bee, and Mrs King said it will be in conjunction with a full day of cleaning up and beautifying the Clinton triangle.

"We’re going to make it so we do a lot of things to update the area, including water blasting the toilets, tidying the trees and just giving it a good spruce up."

She said it was "exciting" because the couple always wanted to put a hamster wheel there in Zeke’s memory

"He is the reason why we’re doing this, so it’s cool to have community support to get it done."