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Let The Good Times Roll: Destination Skatepark Is Open For Action

Mana whenua representatives blessing the new skatepark.(Photo-Supplied)

Whatever your roller mode, grab your decks or wheels and get ready to drop in and carve up the concrete waves at the new Destination Skatepark in Mount Maunganui.

The skatepark, located on the corner of Hull and Maunganui Roads, was officially blessed this morning at an opening attended by Tauranga City Council Commissioners, members of the local roller community, local hapū Ngāi Tūkairangi and Ngāti Kuku, project partners and other guests.

“We’re thrilled to have Destination Skatepark open for action. This is truly a project which has brought the community together, including our young people and our skating community. We appreciate that locals have been itching to get their skate on and now they can!” says Commission Chair, Anne Tolley.

Encompassing over 3000sqm, Destination Skatepark has been designed with the community in mind with several different zones catering for all ages and abilities. Zones one and two focus on facilities for more experienced skaters, while zones three and four were specifically designed for developing basic and intermediate roller skills.

Specialist skatepark designer RICH Landscapes worked in collaboration with Tauranga City Council and a 24-member community co-design group representing multiple roller codes, including skateboarding, BMX, scootering, inline and roller skating.

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Built by Angus McMillan Concrete (AMC) - with GT Civil completing preparatory works, design elements incorporate the cultural history, insights and narratives of the area. The new skatepark is the first in the southern hemisphere to use 3D printed skateable features, including the 12-metre-long Wave, a quarter-pipe and skateable ledges, built by QOROX.

Sam Robertson, owner of Sam’s Skate School, was involved in both the consultation and co-design process and says the benefits for the region are huge.

“Destination Skatepark will attract more wheeled users to Tauranga and help to push up collective progress in these sports. This facility will also provide a safe, visible and accessible place for young people to gather and participate in healthy physical activity.”

As a skateboarder over 30, Sam says it allows him the space to progress personally and not plateau. He’s also excited to use the skatepark for Sam’s Skate School, encouraging the next generation of skaters.

“There is a very exciting new wave of skateboarding talent rising in Tauranga, especially exciting as it's an even split of boys and girls. I have kids as young as 3 coming to skate school learning to push, stop, turn, drop in and ollie, and this facility could be the catalyst for them to have the opportunity to progress to a level where they could be competing at national or even international level one day.”

Representing, the roller skater code as part of the co-design group, Ivy Bates from Let’s Roll Coaching has already tested out the new skatepark and says it’s a wonderful space to skate.

“As roller skaters, we were keen to see a classic mini ramp as well as a flat smooth space to practise footwork or roller derby drills without needing to hire a hall. It’s got such a great variety for street skaters including level variation, this will really help build up skaters’ skills. The smooth flat area is also perfect for learning which is what we want - more younger people being active.”

Ivy, who currently lives in Whakatāne, travels to the Mount weekly to “skate the big stuff” like the vertical ramp at Blake Park.

“Having Destination Skatepark means we have a location for national roller skating/blading/boarding and scooter comps. I hope people will enjoy it and look after it and we get a positive skate community going here.”

Destination Skatepark will be the place to be over King’s Birthday weekend, with food and coffee vendors on-site, and a demonstration and Q+A session with top New Zealand skater Shaun Boucher. Keep an eye on the MyTauranga Facebook page for details.

In June, new signalised crossings near New World on Maunganui Road will be up and running, in the meantime, please use the crossings in place to access the skatepark safely, including the temporary crossing linking Central Parade to the new shared path. If you’re accessing the skatepark by car, use the parking at the Mount Sports Centre and cross carefully at the Hull Road crossing.

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