IMG 2276 Play

Our vision: Lower Hutt – NZ’s healthiest people

Play in the Hutt

"Play is where children practice life"

Play is essential for children’s cognitive, physical, social and emotional development. It builds fundamental physical literacy, fosters creativity and innovation, and builds ability to identify and manage risk. Play contributes not only to children’s lives but also the wellbeing of their families, whānau and wider community. Play is:

  • spontaneous – it will happen anywhere
  • freely chosen and self determined
  • fun, accessible, challenging, social and repeatable
  • for no purpose.


Play in the Hutt is a movement kick-starting action on play locally and nationally. It’s a partnership between Hutt City Council, Sport NZ and Healthy Families Lower Hutt. Together we have engaged with our communities to better understand their experiences of play in our neighbourhoods. From this engagement we've documented our insights and findings in a report, Tākaro to play. The report includes local data, insights from whānau and recommendations about how to make Lower Hutt a city which invites tamariki and rangatahi to play.

Tākaro to play report cover

The key statistics and insights from the report have been captured in this snapshot, which gives a visual representation of the current state of play in Lower Hutt.

Play in the Hutt research snapshot 1

We've worked alongside Sport New Zealand in this mahi. Scott MacKenzie, Sport New Zealand's play specialist explains the value and definition of play as well as how parents can help facilitate play.

Hutt City Council is proud of the work we have been doing together in the field of play. Mayor Ray Wallace says, "As a city we need to empower our communities to better understand and appreciate play and acknowledge the importance of play in creating a healthy and active society. Hutt City Council has invested in creating innovative playable spaces in our civic centre and destination playgrounds. Now there is an opportunity to create more playable neighbourhoods and communities with more child friendly streets." 

Take a look on Hutt City Council's Play in the Hutt page to find out more about play opportunities in Lower Hutt communities, as well as the work Council is doing to support and empower the Lower Hutt community to understand and appreciate play.