Someone please tell me this bloody ‘slide’ pretending to be a budget MacDonalds playground didn’t cost $500k?


When Trev announced a Parliamentary playground, I shrugged.

Jacinda was pregnant, everyone was going ga ga over babies being allowed in Parliament and it seemed like harmless #feminism #solidarity #equality virtue signalling.

Give the baby its bottle and playground I thought.

I’d assumed that it was some tiny bit of cash left over in some budget and it was all harmless enough fun.

The plans looked bleak and about as much organised fun as a Wellington bureaucrat could arrange in a committee meeting so who cared really?

TDB Recommends

But then I read on Radio NZ when it opened this week how much this slide plus some stepping stones had cost and my mouth dropped in absolute horror!

Someone please tell me this bloody ‘slide’ pretending to be a budget MacDonalds playground didn’t cost fucking $500k?

Half a million for a fucking slide & some stepping stones while child poverty stats grow & 14 000 wait on state house lists?

How can a virtue signalling gesture cost this much?

This slide costs $40 bloody dollars from Kmart!

$500 000?

What the fuck is it made of? Dragon teeth and uranium?

Look, I’m all for pointless virtue signalling gestures like any of us are – BUT $500 000?

That could buy a fucking state house!

It’s a bloody slide!

For $500 000 I expect a teleportation portal at the bottom of the damned thing that immediately transports me to an Amsterdam coffee shop!

How the loving Christ are we spending half a million on a slide when 14 000 are waiting for a state house???

If National had pulled a stunt like this, the damnation from our side would be deafening, but no one has even blinked about this costing half a million.

Increasingly having independent opinion in a mainstream media environment which mostly echo one another has become more important than ever, so if you value having an independent voice going into this pandemic and 2020 election – please donate here.

If you can’t contribute but want to help, please always feel free to share our blogs on social media.


    • That $500,000 playground is going to be a constant reminder for every protester standing on Parliament’s ground about how this government can’t manage building anything, nor understand how to spend money wisely.

    • @Ada, Better to spend 1 million on consultants for underwater sports stadiums (Phil Goff @ Auckland council) and get nothing at all. Or the Natz with their 5 million in consultants to sell off the state houses in a housing boom!

      • I’m sorry but what a stupid statement.
        The appropriate thing to do when Labour makes a fuck up is to call them out on it NOT act all defensive and butt hurt.
        The fact that National likewise wasted a shit pot of money here and there should NOT ever be used as an excuse for absolving Labour of its many many sins.

  1. $500k for a public playground is nothing new. The Natz spent 5 million on consultants to sell off the state houses cheap during a housing boom.

    Neoliberalism is about profits not results! Everything in NZ is about process and identity politics and consultants and networking and underhand deals (in the Natz state houses anyway) … so when quality and expertise is absent from the mix, delivers terrible outcomes!

    Nowadays managers and middle managers and consultants often have little knowledge of how to do anything but are the intellectual-yet-idiot class, with more idiot and less intellectual , so rely on hoards of underlings to do the job, that the person in charge can’t do and has little knowledge of how to do it! Often getting outsourcing people companies to do the work and the chances of getting good staff there is low!

    Had a friend who just did a little landscaping job in Auckland, they were very experienced in construction industry and still cost them hundreds of thousands- nearly triple over what they thought!

    Someone told me that construction and electricity have the least innovation in all of NZ industries! I can believe it, they do not have any interest in quality or service levels only profits and price gouging!

    The problem is though, 40% of workers are on minimum wages, and many are earning not much above that and you can’t live on that in NZ anymore in Auckland and many more cities, now spreading throughout NZ because the government doesn’t understand what is going on with immigration and how that effects pricing.

    • saveNZ – “Nowadays managers and middle managers and consultants often have little knowledge of how to do anything.” But that’s why God invented policy analysts- to explain to govt dept managers how to do their jobs.

      Someone like Mitre 10 could have done a jolly good playground much cheaper than this, but youthful political advisors may not know that such places exist; they’re not really a DIY sort generation – apart from appearing spasmodically on el cheapo reality television. How many people besides Norman Kirk and Nicky Hager actually built their own houses ? Simeon Whatsit ? Anne Tolley ? Simon Whatsit ?

      We need to look at the positive here (a) Labour has shown how much they really care about children
      (b) Kids being shoeless will save wear and tear on the costly gear
      (c) It could have cost a hell of a lot more using a bigger working group
      (d) That could be a good bridge for homeless folk to sleep under

      • @Snowwhite I think it is def one of the better aspects of government spending because it was overdue and also they actually produced an outcome – while it would be considered expensive 5 years ago, with all our cheap labour and multinationals sky rocketing the profits, $500k for a public area is probably a bargain!

        Betcha near 50% of cost was for consultants and council fees though, not the actual slide or paving!

        • saveNZ – My Mitre 10 comment was a bit tongue-in-cheek. There are playground specialists, and $500k is nothing in terms of govt spending.

          It looks stylish, and the symbolism of children mattering is probably quite important in a country where we don’t have the best track record in how we treat our children. If kids have fun there – great – kids should have fun. If poss.

  2. Why construction in NZ is fucked and expensive!

    Wait till all the Kiwibuild houses start having construction issues, while the state houses sold off or demolished are in demand as a safe option and renovating them was alway way cheaper and safer!

    Government is in the construction industries pocket and leaving them to call all the shots which is resulting in this!

    The Detail: New Zealand is still building leaky homes


    “According to journalist Peter Dyer, who has spent the past seven years researching the crisis and wrote the book Rottenomics*, we are still making the same mistakes. “Everyone I talk to says we are still building them.”

    As the building industry faces huge pressure to build more homes, with a lack of trained craftspeople, untested new products, imported labour and councils under extreme pressure, could we be heading for another similar disaster?

    Dyer says the leaky homes curse was the combination of several factors but at the root of it all was the economic/political revolution in 1984 and Rogernomics.

    “The idea that if you turn the business of government and industry to the private sector and get government out of the way, we’ll end up in a neo-liberal paradise where everything will be better quality and less expensive. Of course that didn’t happen, especially not in the building industry.”
    Not to mention structural issues.

    Concrete safety investigator ‘surprised nobody had been killed’

    Multi-storey building flaws ‘almost the norm’

    Apartment complex hit with $32.8m repair bill

    Council unable to identify possible defective buildings in capital

  3. New Zealand has the government it deserves. I voted for TOP and ALCP – tis unfortunate for voters like myself.

    Next stop .. leaky building saga 2.0 ..

    • Could be a lucky escape for the homeless, sounds like some of the ‘new’ buildings are so structurally fucked now in an earthquake or natural disaster, it’s CTV building (over 115 deaths) all over again.

  4. Oh don’t fret as of Dec 2 our “beloved left wing and Socialist government” (try to say that with a straight face) will increase the tax gouging by imposing regressive GST on all on line purchases. Will will make rich and poor pay alike. I guess there’s some equality of misery in that? Right?

    In any case problem solved. Now how about some diamond studded merry go rounds and swing seats made of pure silk?

  5. yeah you are right Martyn ,a bloody slide , and where ? in a bloody childrens playground at bloody parliament . down the bottom of town . Windy Wellington.

    now how many people do you reckon will actually use that thing.?

    Jacinders kid maybe , the kids of protesters in camps on parliament grounds .?

    you would need to be coming out of a coffee house in Amsterdam to see the sparkly thought of taking the kids there on a sunday afternoon for a slide .

  6. Great post Martyn and great comments by Ada.

    Of course playground equipment can be bought off the shelf.


    and here:

    But let me guess: Standard stuff wasn’t good enough for the little cherubs who are the offspring of the ‘special people’ in the beehive.
    I would also guess the arty folk got involved. Anything this bunch of twats touches immediately becomes inordinately expensive. Maybe the slide is symbolic of something, like, say, this government’s performance and polling results up until the next election….

    • Andrew – This is not particularly costly for a decent playground. And there are families with children living throughout Thorndon, which I don’t think has another children’s playground. Shame it’s has become politicised. Shame to see children politicised in this way.

      Prince Charles and Camilla will be gifted all over NZ this week, and when well-heeled royals marry, and have babies, this cringing little country sends them presents, and writes-up the gifts in the media, and I don’t see any of you ever complaining about that. Why ? Because toadying to the rich and famous is in the natural order of things for folk who fear being thought inferior – while New Zealand children are there to shut up and be thrashed- and not nurtured or valued.

      I gather that the playground is to mark International Children’s Week. But here in NZ we mark kids with bruises and abuse and killings, and the anger about this playground is sickening.

      You are the people apoplectic about Sue Bradford’s trying to protect children with her anti-smacking bill; and did you know that your glorious leader John Key voted supporting it ? Best decision that lad ever made akshully.

      Wellington is the capital city of NZ, and frankly, while kitsets and Bob the Builder may be good enough for gumboot counties – and you- Parliament grounds requires good quality accessories – unlike Parliament’s internal hangers-on.

      If you don’t like it, then start another useless petition, show what sort of man you are. Wow.

      PS Never under-estimate the power of symbols. OK ?

  7. Yeah! Bob the builder was pretty annoyed with Jacinda when he spoke to her on the phone. He said to her that he could of built it cheaper, but she said, nah, we’ve got heaps of cash to burn.

  8. symbols ? . Candy is dandy but the real thing is finer .

    cant eat a lot of slides , or make a lot of shoes from them , winter coats or summer hats .

    half a mil , would buy a lot of filled rolls for lunchs .

    I have a friend in a small town some where feeding a lot of kids lunchs because they dont have the money and go to school without , makes them herself with friends and others donating .

    half a ml would have bought a lot of tins of baked beans and loaves of bread .

    and just for the record I think Sue Bradford is mighty fine and also think that the stress of being out of pocket might have some thing to do with smackings ,and short fuses , not that its an excuse for violence but some thing to do with a reason some times .

  9. 28 percent of children in new Zealand are living under the poverty line .

    to build a childrens play ground in the grounds of parliament suggesting this government is actually doing some thing meaning full about it because its International childrens week is about as hypocritical as calling New Zealand clean and green .

    • retired working man – I have not suggested that this children’s playground addresses the issue of children living under the poverty line, because it doesn’t address the issue of children living under the poverty line.That’s a separate issue.

      Somewhere, sometime, the playground was conceived as a fitting gesture to mark International Children’s Week.

      It could have been done with something like a statue or a sculpture, but this is a more practical alternative, and just as substantive as a statue or sculpture, but something which brings pleasure to children who play on it. And Trevor Mallard.

      Yep, it could have bought quite a bit of food, but unfortunately, money designated or budgeted for one purpose, can rarely, if ever, be accessed for something else – however worthy. But it could be worth contacting your MP about.

      Good man, thinking that Sue Bradford is fine. Perhaps when Nelson commentator Amy Brooke, who rails away against Bradford’s bill, sees this playground – as a symbol – it may make her stop and ponder whether children are right for strapping, or whether they are taonga, and beautiful little gifts to whom we owe a duty of care and protection.

      My symbols comment was akshully directed at Andrew – who is sometimes a real pain – but it looks like others must have read that too. Damn.

      But symbols do carry their own power – the first coming to my mind, is the distortion of that old religious symbol, the swastika. The Christian cross and crucifix – and in ancient times – the fish – are symbolic for followers of Jesus the Galilean; but a waiata, and a Bach concerto, and a Picasso painting all symbolise different aspects of our culture, things of the spirit which nourish the spirit the way the hills and seas and mountains do – and can communicate our kinship and communion with each other, as human.

      Andrew’s “arty folk” comment echoes flawed Mao Tsetung – and trivialises the professionalism involved in designs like this – but as Nat supporters are generally ignorant plebs, they’re probably best kept right (pun intended) away from playgrounds anyway.

    • retired w m PS. I agree with you that if this govt thinks that we think that they care about child poverty just because they’ve built a playground, then they’re as out of sync with the public as Prince Andrew is.

      The playground says that kids matter, that’s all that it says. They also send Sepuloni out every now and then looking all earnest so that people will think that they care, but that’s not working either.

  10. point taken , and good to see that empty gestures are availing them not .

    they do need to be kept on their toes though .

    Andrew does have that way about him .

    in the light of what it is { the slide } and where it is {outside parliament }

    a very nice take on a zen garden actually very cool .

Comments are closed.