Tuesday, 25 February 2020

WHITIANGA WEATHER

Committee formed to progress Tairua skatepark

A meeting to gauge interest in building a skatepark in Tairua has had a good response. The challenge is where to put it.

About 25 people attended the informal meeting at Tairua Community Hall on Saturday 1 December, arranged by Tairua-Pauanui Community Board member Brent Turner. A committee has since been formed to progress the project.

Mr Turner says he is encouraged by the number of people prepared to support the move. “Kids need positive things to do in order to have a positive attitude,” he says. “My understanding is that skateboarding competitions have become huge in this country and a skatepark would bring opportunities for young people to aspire to.

“Thames-Coromandel District Council has been taking about a skatepark for a long time and some money is there for us to use. We don’t want to lose that money. Our kids have been waiting for 20 years for a skatepark and support for it has not gone away.” 

Mr Turner points out that Tairua is the only town on the Peninsula that does not have a skatepark.

Community board member Warwick Brooks also attended the meeting and supports the proposal. “However, finding a site where to put a skatepark is the issue,” says Mr Brooks. “Other towns on the Coromandel Peninsula such as Pauanui and Whangamata have large spaces to put a skatepark, but we don’t.”

Mr Brooks says that unless the council buys land for a skatepark, then it needs to go on an existing reserve. “We have money in the budget for investigations and money available for the provision of a skatepark,” he says We do have to remember that it must suit our community as well as our youth. I wish those involved good luck.”

Tairua resident, Greyson Takotohiwi (16), points out that there has not been a place in the town for skateboarders since his dad was a kid. “Everyone here is really good at skateboarding and also scootering, but they have nowhere to go and enjoy it,” he says.

Thirteen-year-old Ashdyn Rea says skateboarding is a healthy activity that encourages kids to spend time outside.

Axle Gould (15) says having a place for kids to enjoy skateboarding and scootering would keep them out of trouble.

Mr Turner is keen to hear from anyone who wants to get involved in supporting the proposal.

Pictured: Keen skateboarders with nowhere to skate. From left to right - Greyson Takotohiwi, Axle Gould, Ashdyn Rea and Tony (Radar) Rea (skatepark committee member).

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