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Putting The Destination Into Destination Skatepark

What puts the ‘destination’ in Tauranga’s newest Destination Skatepark? Designed in collaboration with the local roller community, it will be the go-to destination for all roller codes and modes – whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newbie ready to give it a roll.

“It truly does take a village to deliver such an awesome facility,” says Peter Fraser, Tauranga City Council’s Design Lead for Destination Skatepark. “The collaborative co-design process has involved a 24-member skate group (representing skateboarding, BMX, scootering, inline and roller skating) working alongside Council, and designer Rich Landscapes.”

The skatepark has been a real community effort to date, not just on the design front, but also when it comes to funding.

“We’re especially grateful to all our funders for helping to make this dream a reality for Tauranga’s skate community,” says Peter.

Funding for the skatepark was initially secured from TECT, the Lottery Community Facilities Fund, New Zealand Community Trust (NZCT), and Project Tauranga for zones one and two, which focused on facilities for more experienced skaters. Additional funding from the Grassroots Trust, NZCT, and The Lion Foundation was recently confirmed, allowing for the development of zones three and four, which are specifically designed for developing basic and intermediate roller skills.

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“Tauranga’s Destination Skatepark will provide an inclusive and accessible facility that will help contribute to the broader physical, emotional and social wellbeing of the community.”

Key features of the beginner to intermediate skate area (zones three and four) include a learner’s skinny ledge, a learner’s wide ledge, a learner’s rail, a small quarter pipe, a large flat concrete pad and many other street-skate obstacles. Other standout features of the wider skatepark include a flow bowl, a surf/skate ditch, competition style stairs, and a street skate area.

“The addition of zones three and four will complete the community shaped design and offer full skating experiences for all abilities. Unique features will allow for progression of skating abilities as well as catering for different roller modes,” says Peter.

Funding partners for the beginner to intermediate zones all agree that the skatepark will deliver a significant facility which encourage users to be active, creative and have fun.

Paul Hayes, Communications and Engagement Manager for The Lion Foundation, says the Destination Skatepark will offer tangible community benefits.

“The facility will connect the community from all walks of life - offering a great way to meet new people and learn a new sport. Some older people grew up with skateboarding, and they will be excited to have a facility like the new skatepark, which they wouldn’t have had growing up.”

Ben Hodges, NZCT's General Manager for Grants, Marketing and Communications says that, as a rapidly growing city, Tauranga needs to ensure there are sufficient formal and informal play spaces.”

“This project has been a fantastic initiative to convert underutilised land into a wonderful activity zone that is free to use.”

Martin Bradley, Executive Chairman of Grassroots Trust, says they are proud to be involved in a project which can help bind communities together.

“Skateparks build and sustain healthy communities. As a gathering place for dedicated, athletic youth, the skatepark provides the forum for visitors young and old, beginning and skilled, to meet and share experiences.”

Development of the new Destination Skatepark came about following community engagement on the city’s previous Long-term Plan, including consultation with local mana whenua. After hearing loud and clear from Tauranga’s growing skate community that existing skateparks were too small, outdated and limiting for users, Tauranga City Council committed to improving citywide skate facilities.

“The debut of skateboarding at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics definitely influenced the growing popularity of the sport which, in turn, has created the need for larger and more modern skating facilities,” says Peter. Encompassing over 3000sqm, the skatepark is anticipated to open in mid-2024.

Tauranga City Council is being supported in this project by community grants from TECT, NZCT, the Lottery Community Facilities Fund, Grassroots Trust, The Lion Foundation and Project Tauranga.

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