Public Design and Build


The chance to work on a playground project like this was an unmissable experience. At its heart are the clients’ core values and history. We worked closely with the client to commemorate their story through play.

Located in the Heart of Paerata Rise, the playground showcases a series of key figures & historical land features throughout the playscape.

These include:

Pink & white terraced waterplay area to reflecting Te Paea and her lifesaving vision before the Tarawera Explosion,
Waharoa-styled gateways connecting the park with the local iwi,
Rough Sawn timber farm-style playhouses scattered around rolling hill features share the farming lifestyle of the surrounding areas,
Stylised Grandstand & Sports field in commemoration of its connection to Wesley College

Photographer: Holly Lynch

Stylist: BlackOak Interiors


– Water Play Park

– Edible Garden

– Basket Swings for mixed-ability users

– Central Rata feature & crows nests

– Circularly designed spaces for multiple play options like ‘the floor is lava’, ‘cheat tag’ ‘follow the leader’

– Large & Small Slides & Balance beams

– Lots of seated areas for watching all the fun!


“Te Paea (Sophia Hinerangi) attended Wesleyan Native Institute which became Wesley College.

Te Paea, arranged tours for visitors at the Pink and White Terraces for some 16 years before the Mount Tarawera eruption in 1886. She was known as a ‘guide, philosopher and friend’ to thousands of visitors to the area, and there are many accounts of her melodious voice. Te Paea was on Lake Tarawera the morning of the famed phantom waka sighting, and witnessed a unusual swelling of the tides 11 days before the eruption. The story goes that her experiences on the lake that day forewarned the locals, many of whom evacuated the Rotomahana area.

During the eruption, Te Paea sheltered 62 people in her whare, becoming a local and school heroine.”