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Playground detractor

The playground equipment being removed in December. PHOTO/FILE

Popular playground equipment’s $30,000 price tag

Story by Soumya Bhamidipati

Upgrading Queen Elizabeth Park’s infamous tractor and bulldozer duo could come with the hefty price tag of about $30,000.

Masterton councillor Gary Caffell raised the issue at a Masterton District Council meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

“The question that most people in the community are asking is what’s going to happen to the tractor and bulldozer?” he said, after the delivery of a summary of projects by chief executive Kath Ross.

Ross said the council had found three parties who were able to undertake the repairs, and noted the indicative prices given were in the region of $30,000.

It was hoped a report outlining the options would be provided for approval at the next council meeting, scheduled for March 31.

The much-loved blue Fordson and a yellow bulldozer-style crawler tractor were mainstays of Queen Elizabeth Park’s Kids Own Playground until December last year.

Following up on a 2019 investigation Masterton District Council staffers called on councillors to consider removing and replacing the vehicles, which had been in place since 1960.

At a November meeting, the council received a report, saying the machines did not comply with national playground standards.

The council may be liable to prosecution for any injuries they caused.

But, after a public outcry, councillors overruled staff suggestions to ditch the duo.

The vehicles were then moved from the park to a council yard on nearby Bentley St where they remain.

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