Margaret Mahy Family Playground

Work is in full swing on our largest outdoor play area – the Margaret Mahy Family Playground. The playground is half of a block and located on the banks of Ōtākaro/Avon River between Manchester, Madras and Armagh streets (click to see map).


  • A design which acknowledges our unique environment reflective of Canterbury's four main habitat types: the forest zone, coastal zone, plains zone and wetlands zone
  • Picnic and BBQ area
  • $2M of play equipment including 10m high climbing tower, double flying fox, 4m wide slide and water play facilities
  • Story arc with elements from Margaret Mahy and Elsie Locke’s stories as well as Ngāi Tahu narratives and imagery
  • Interactive and well illuminated lighting design for evening use.

Map above shows the design and key features of the new Margaret Mahy Family Playground



Artist impressions of playground features. Click to see larger images.


The Tremendous Tatty Patchwork Competition

With the playground opening soon we need the help of the children of Canterbury to get arty and crafty, sticky and stitchy! Find out more about the Tremendous Tatty Patchwork Competition

Margaret Mahy Family Playground logoNew look and logo

With the Margaret Mahy Family Playground scheduled to open in December it’s time to launch the new look for this amazing inner city playground. The branding reflects the colour and vibrancy of the new playground and provides a taste of what’s to come. Keep an eye out for signage appearing on site over the next few months.

Designing the playground:

In 2013 a staggering 6,000 Canterbury children put forward their visions and ideas for an amazing playground as part of the BNZ Amazing Place Playground Competition. The winning entry in the Year 6 category was based on the stories of New Zealand author Margaret Mahy.

Watch a video about the wining design »