The new Karaka Playcentre playground was officially opened by one of its oldest and youngest members. Pictured from left to right: Georgia Bowkett (4 years old) and Amelia Oakden (6 months old) held by her mother Angela and sister Charlotte Oakden.

On Friday 9 August 2019, Karaka Playcentre invited current, past, life members and patrons (and their children) of the centre to celebrate the official playground opening ceremony during their monthly family pizza night. Pamela Thompson, President and Spokesperson at the event, welcomed everyone to the ceremony, and noted how: ”it’s been a number of years in the making – lots of planning, consultation and a heap of fundraising! A big thank you to all those who have made (in some cases, significant financial contributions) to our fundraising fund – we’ve had some amazing support from local families and businesses in the community, so thank you so much, we’re extremely grateful.”

We were delighted to have Melanie Kennerley attend our special occasion, and David and Donna Cox from Papakura Rotary Club who all generously donated towards our playground and centre resources. We also had a very special past member, Juliette Kemp, attend who shared many memories with us when she was a member and patron for the centre when it all began in the Karaka Hall before moving to the piece of land next door. Juliette pulled out a 1994 Playcentre newsletter with her granddaughter pictured on the front cover surrounded by a wooden block tower, resources we still have in centre today, loved and enjoyed by our Playcentre tamariki.

Pamela Thompsons speech talked about how “our magnificent new playground is a change from our dear old fort which was a hit for many many decades but well overdue to be replaced. Savings on maintenance will be had!”

Karaka Playcentre has been part of the Karaka community since 1959, and is a not-for-profit member family run co-operative which provides endless opportunities for children to explore, create, jump, run, get messy and grow.

Karaka Playcentre has reached out to the Karaka community over the past couple of years seeking financial support to build a new playground and have been extremely fortunate to receive some very generous donations that have made our wonderful new playground possible.

A huge thanks to those of you in the community who have made a significant financial contribution:
• Jo and Brendan Lindsay
• Rorohara Farms
• Papakura Rotary
• Melanie and Wayne Kennerley
• Juliette Kemp
• Brinks
• Shelley and the team from The General Store
• Urban Soul
• Counties Power
• The generous donations from past members and from our Give a Little Page