Safety concerns as skate park built

By Rebecca Savory


A skate park being built in central Hastings is prompting local discussions on safety and potential vandalism in the area.

Businesses and residents adjacent to the King St North lot have concerns about the security and monitoring of the park overnight.

However, keen skaters from Karamu High School, William Wilson and Sam Wilkinson, are adamant the public's concerns are simply due to a "skater" stereotype, and cannot wait for the park to open.

"It'll be packed, popular as. It's like the best thing that's come to Hastings," said Sam.

Store manager of Spotlight Martin Wilbraham said although he thought it was good to have a facility for Hastings youth, his store was concerned about possible graffiti.

"In a way I think it'll be good to have something there for the young people. On the other hand, I'm concerned how it will be monitored or policed. The tagging side of it is a concern."

Retail manager of OfficeMax Amanda Gifkins agreed that tagging was "a big worry", but said staff were otherwise excited.

"It's exciting watching it all happening."

An elderly man whose property is adjacent to the park said he, and other elderly in the area, were concerned about noise at night and a staff member at the RSA said safety of some of their older members as they leave the complex at night was a concern.

"That's the stereotype again, skating at night," William said.

"There won't be many people [skating at night], there's school tomorrow. Cars will be louder than skaters," Sam said.

Hastings District Council parks asset manager Colin Hosford said measures would be put in place to ensure safety.

"These measures include the control of lighting to restrict night use and CCTV, with the support of the Hastings police who will regularly monitor the site."

The $1.5 million project, the first outdoor skate complex for Hastings, is set to be finished later in the year.


- Hawkes Bay Today

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