Oh happy day, Lennox can play

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On a roll .. Lennox Cations plays on the mouse wheel at the playground in the Green Island Memorial Garden on the first day of Alert Level 2 last week. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

A mother kept good on a promise as playgrounds reopened in Dunedin last week.

Melissa Allnatt said playgrounds being shut in Alert Levels 4 and 3 had been “hard” on her son Lennox (1).

During lockdown, if her family passed a playground on their daily walk, a ball was used to distract Lennox until the playground was out of sight.

If Lennox got a glimpse of a playground, a foot chase ensued.

On the eve of the nation entering Alert Level 2 last week, she told her son if he was a good boy and went to sleep, he could visit a playground the next day.

She made good on her promise and took Lennox to the playground at the Green Island Memorial Garden.

She was relaxed about letting her son return to playgrounds and the safety risk it posed, as she cleaned his hands when leaving.

“I don’t think it’s a biggie.”

She and her son were “stuck” in Dunedin – the city she was raised in, she said.

They lived in Western Australia and had been on holiday visiting her parents in Brighton when the pandemic hit.

“We were meant to go home in April and we’re still here .. I’m loving being here. It’s home really – so no drama at all.”

  • The Covid-19 pandemic has stalled consultation on ways to improve play spaces and experiences in Dunedin.

Dunedin City Council parks and recreation group manager Robert West said the council was preparing its consultation on its play-space strategic plan.

The council was now aiming to begin consultation in July. It would comprise of an online survey and direct consultation with preschool and school-age children kindergartens and early learning centres disability groups.