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Parents’ swing proves a hit

Carterton District Councillor Rebecca Vergunst using Bird Park’s parent swing. PHOTO/SUPPLIED



Carterton District councillor and mother-of-two Rebecca Vergunst can’t get enough of the newest addition to Bird Park.

What she calls the “parent swing” was installed at the town’s southernmost park at Frederick and Charles Streets only a few months ago, but has already proven popular among residents with small children.

It is designed specifically for intergenerational play with a face-to-face design.

“There’s been such a positive response to the swing that I think they will be installed in more places before we know it,” Mrs Vergunst said.

“It’s just really cool, that you can just sit there and push your child on the swing for hours and potentially have a go yourself.”

Going into her second year as a Carterton councillor, the young mother said it proved how important it was to “have that younger perspective on council”.

“Being in the stage myself with little kids, you realise things a lot more.

“Out of all the councillors, I think I visit the Carterton pools and parks the most — well I’m in there a couple of times a week at least.”

Also at the park, which is about a year old, are a couple of other swings and a see-saw.

“The goal is to add more equipment and stage it a bit more,” Mrs Vergunst said.

“And hopefully we can get [the parent swings] in a few more areas — that would be really cool.

“People have loved it so far.

“Every time I’ve gone past it, there have been people there actually.”

The Bird Park project was Mrs Vergunst’s first big undertaking as a new councillor, inspired by the need for more green spaces in Carterton.

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Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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