Oamaru company Numat is launching balance parks in New Zealand – and Oamaru is the first in the country to get one.
Balance parks are a Scandinavian innovation made popular in Norway. They bring together a range of balance play elements – slacklines, balance balls, steppers and mini-trampolines – and playground safety surfacing to offer a challenging balance course for children and adults to test their balance skills on.
Construction of the park at Friendly Bay started on January 28 and is expected to be finished by February 11.
Numat marketing executive Jon Coursey said balance parks were an “exciting” alternative to traditional playgrounds.
“Judging by the feedback we’ve had from councils and communities around New Zealand, Kiwis are ready for something a bit different in their local parks and playgrounds,” he said.
“Given the rise in popularity of new sports like parkour and competitive tag, we expect these parks will be a huge success.”
Numat was gifting the balance park to the community and it would be based on a “cogs” theme, designed to fit the surrounding steampunk playground aesthetic.
“We’ve been keen to build a park for the Oamaru community for a while now and saw this as the perfect opportunity to do that, while launching something new and exciting at the same time,” he said.
Started in 1995 by father and son Peter and Mike Judd, Numat began as a playground surfacing company before it expanded into agricultural surfacing and, more recently, playground design and construction.
In the past 10 years, the company had been involved in several major projects across the country, including Margaret Mahy Playground in Christchurch, Anderson Park in Napier and Potter’s Park in Auckland.
Waitaki Deputy Mayor Melanie Tavendale believed the park would be a good fit for Oamaru.
“These new play pieces will be a fantastic addition to our playground, and the design will complement the steampunk theme,” Mrs Tavendale said.
“Numat are a local company who have filled a gap in the playground market with equipment that is proving to be very popular with young and old alike.
“Their donation to this community is incredibly generous. I can’t wait to have a play (with my kids of course).”