A Kaikohe skate park is getting a $100,000 revamp that will make it one of the best in the country.
The Memorial Park facility was built in 2001 in a project driven by Sally Macauley, then the chairwoman of the Kaikohe-Hokianga Community Board.
Although located on council land, the skate park was built entirely with private funding. Mrs Macauley, now a Far North District councillor, said the skate park was well-used but showing its age.
"Skateboarding has changed over the last 15 years. Our young people need a more up-to-date and challenging facility, so I felt we needed to do something about it."
She asked local skate-boarders for ideas on improving the park before engaging international skateboarder Dave Crabb, now based at Mahinepua in the Far North, to design new skate bowls. Mrs Macauley has raised more than $100,000 for the project. The largest contributions came from the Far North District Council, Foundation North (formerly the ASB Community Trust) and Pub Charities.
Construction of the new skate bowls started last week and will take three months.
The work will involve extending concrete areas and trimming some trees in the park. The existing skate park will remain open during construction but some areas may need to be closed off for safety reasons or for storage of materials. A grand opening is planned once the new facility is complete.
Mr Crabb said the skate park upgrade was an exciting project that would give Kaikohe skateboarders and BMX riders a state-of-the-art facility. "It'll be similar to Albany, which is among the best in the country."