Playground at Parliament labelled 'monument to extravagance' by National after running well over budget

Source: 1News

The children's playground at Parliament is being called a monument to extravagance after it ran significantly over budget.

The National Party says it's scandalous that Speaker Trevor Mallard spent $243,000 on a kids' slide.

“It's a great slide, it's very attractive to kids and some of us older people as well,” Mr Mallard said at the playground's opening last November.

Today the price tag of the playground has been revealed at $572,000, well over the initial $400,000 budget.

“I do think this is a monument to waste and extravagance - it's an embarrassment for a Government,” National MP Nick Smith says.

The slide was $76,000 over budget and engineering and architect fees were $73,000 over.

“To be fair though I often come through here and there's kids having a whale of a time,” Mr Smith said.

“It's great children have a playground on parliament no objection to that - the objection is spending $570,000.”

The Green Party think it's ironic - given the Speaker said it was too expensive to make the playground accessible.

“The current playground is effectively a slide and a bunch of logs which is not particularly accessible to kids with certain types of disabilities,” Chlöe Swarbrick says.

However, Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says an accessible carousel may soon be added to the playground to address this.