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Landscape Award Winner
Hockey Reserve


Hockey Reserve is a local neighbourhood playground and reserve in the Brook Valley, Nelson. It is situated against the backdrop of the Brook Sanctuary, a native wildlife haven. The brook stream runs along the edge of the reserve and native planting lines its banks.

The reserve design includes a playground, playing field, picnic area, flying fox and pump track (bmx mountain bike track). The playground is the main focus of the reserve which includes various play equipment, coloured climbing tunnels, totem poles, interpretation, rock play and seating.

The design reflects the natural character of the site and adventure play maximising use of natural, recycled materials including rock and recycled timber. This previously flat site has been transformed with the use of playful mounding, inspired by the ripples and flows of the eddies created in the nearby stream. The mounding (approx. 1 metre high) winds through the site providing enclosure and creating opportunity for play with colourful tunnels which intersect the mounds and a slide which wraps over the top of a grassed mound. Safety play matting in the playground is a bright blue reflecting symbolically the stream that runs alongside the park.

The Resene colour palette has been used from the earliest phases of conceptual design alongside the design elements of the playground. The colours have enabled us to think outside the square when exploring opportunities for play, and got both the council and community excited about the project. There are a number of ‘off the shelf’ play items in the park, we have managed to match the Resene colours for many of these, creating a uniform palette that is bright and fun without being overly complicated.

Hockey Reserve overview

Hockey Reserve poles, pipes and climbing chain

Hockey Reserve seat

Hockey Reserve


The use of bright vibrant colour brings a sense of playfulness to the reserve creating a strong contrast that accent uates the natural colours of the surrounding landscape. Recycled materials such as timber posts have been used wherever possible and have been enhanced with the use of Resene colours to create strong, bright play features.

Seating and tables are robust while having a sense of fun with randomly painted timbers. Painted stencil art on precast panels graphically teaches children about the local native fauna while play equipment is colourfully painted in the colours from the design colour palette.

The plant palette is a native mix of rata, kowhai, and kanuka found locally with mounds planted out in grasses, flaxes, and reeds to introduce native birds and teach children about native flora.

The natural surroundings of the Hockey Reserve provide a lush green backdrop for a playful palette of colours to add life and a sense of fun to this project. The inspiration from the initial design stage was both nature and colour and a bold palette of colours was selected from the Resene KidzColour range. These colours were chosen to bring life and vibrancy to this project enhancing the natural and recycled materials and providing a strong juxtaposition to the natural environment.

Resene Yabbadabbadoo
Resene Yabbadabbadoo
Resene Jack In The Box
Resene Jack In The Box
Resene Dizzy Lizzy
Resene Dizzy Lizzy
Resene Rock N Roll
Resene Rock N Roll

Resene Yabbadabbadoo, Resene Jack In The Box and Resene Dizzy Lizzy with hints of Resene Rock N Roll are used on play equipment, totem poles, tables and seats and stencil art interpretation. These colours are used in a playful manner with random stripes, bold block colour and playful circles which bring the project to life.

Architectural specifier:
Canopy Landscape Architects
Building contractor: Nelmac
Client: Nelson City Council

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