Kids riding bikes, climbing trees, in sandpits, and getting their faces painted are classic Kiwi summer scenes. But kids using metal detectors, sitting in diggers, crawling through water pipes, and helping to build bat roosts are sights you don’t see every day.
All of these, and much more, were on display at Hamilton City Council’s Your Neighbourhood event at Forest Lake’s Minogue Park on Saturday (23 November).
The Your Neighbourhood series brings together the huge range of what the Council does and takes it out into our communities for residents to interact with.
Saturday’s event saw hundreds of people engaging with the machinery and people that keep our city running.
Our arborist crew hoisted kids high into trees in professional harnesses, the parks team showed how we make artificial homes for Hamilton’s endangered long-tailed bats, and our Kids on Bikes programme brought their obstacle course to teach cycling safety.
We also had information about the new kerbside rubbish and recycling service, how to fence your pool properly, using water wisely, the 1000 careers at the Council, plus races on a rowing machine from the gym at Waterworld, a chance to meet our dogs up for adoption and heaps more.
The machinery included diggers, metal detectors to find a toby (water shut-off valve), street sweepers, electric trucks and motorbikes for rubbish collection, tree chippers, cherry pickers, and water pipe cameras.
Feedback about the event has been all positive.
Pip Chesham was enticed to come from Chedworth by the activities for her two kids, aged six and four.
“We’ve been to other Your Neighbourhood events before and they were really good, so we knew this one would be too,” she says. “Getting up close with the diggers and other machinery, it’s not very often you get to do that.”
Amy Dutton messaged the Council on Facebook to share her gratitude.
“My girls and I had a great time,” she says. “We learnt so much and can appreciate the effort and hard work that goes into running a wonderful city. It was so fascinating to see the many different aspects to Council operated/funded work. I have a greater appreciation of the work that the Council does and look forward to reading through all the resources we gathered to learn more.”
Carrie Song couldn’t attend but sent a note about her family’s experience.
“My husband and my son had a great time there together with our friends and their children,” she says. “My son was still excited when I finished my work, talking about “being safe and being seen” while cycling, the real digger experience and what those pipelines were for. He has learned a lot while having fun. Many thanks for your great efforts.”
The Minogue Park edition was the Council’s fifth Your Neighbourhood event, having previously been to Peacocke, Rototuna, Crawshaw and Claudelands.