Skaters secure top spot

By Annette Lambly

Kaipara skaters and wheelers will have a new venue and a dedicated space to enjoy the growing sport.

Kaipara District Council has given approval to Selwyn Park as the new venue for a skateboard park, after an infrastructure plan completed last year suggested the new site more suitable than the current Logan St site.

A community group has been working on a skatepark plan for more than five years and now has access to $255,000 to complete the project. Project manager Darlene Lang said she was delighted, "It's been a long time in the coming."

In 2007/08 the council received over 900 submissions to its annual plan and agreed to contribute $20,000 to fund the initial stage, which included research trialling and concept plans.

At the same time, the Kaipara recreational Facilities Incorporate Society was established to further the project. The council declined the society's original request to build at Selwyn Park because many clubs were vying for its use and the council had no overall plan for recreation. In 2009, a small concrete area was created in Logan St in what was widely accepted as a less than ideal location.

During the 2010/11 annual plan submissions, the society applied for a further grant. The council of the day approved a grant on a dollar-for-dollar basis, capping its contribution which would be funded from the Reserves contribution fund at $80,000.

In 2012, Sport Northland completed an overall Dargaville sports and recreation infrastructure plan in consultation with many of the other Dargaville sporting clubs, groups and providers. The plan recommended the skatepark be built at Selwyn Park.

After letters were written to owners of neighbouring properties, a public meeting was held in November 2012. The council concluded the majority of the community was in favour of the new location and the society was asked to put forward another proposal.

In February, the group told the council they wished to uplift the $80,000 as they now had sufficient funds to complete the project and requested approval of the Selwyn Park site.

Last week, the council agreed to relocate the Dargaville Skatepark to Selwyn Park and noted the public support for the park, and cheaper construction costs since the new site was flat, firmer and elevated and already had public toilets.

Ms Lang said contractor John Vuletich Construction was already organising material such as pre-castings. No completion date has been set.

- Northern Advocate

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