Rotorua's skateboarding community has set the wheels in motion for a skatepark upgrade through the Long-term Plan 2018-28 consultation.

A petition signed by almost 500 people from around Rotorua has been delivered to Rotorua Lakes Council to show support for a skatepark upgrade.

In the draft Long-term Plan, $2m was set aside for the "construction of youth skatepark" in Kuirau Park.

This was included after a decade of campaigning, lead by the likes of former Rotorua Lakes Council Operations and Monitoring Committee member Teddy Stokes and skater Ryan Gray who started the "Upgrade Rotorua Skatepark" group.

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Last year a $2.1m skate park proposal for redevelopment of the existing skatepark, Sheaf Park was released to the public.

The draft Long-term Plan 2018-28 suggests this multimillion-dollar design would be incorporated at Kuirau Park instead.

On Friday "Upgrade Rotorua Skatepark" published their video submission on the plan, including skaters young and old, parents and MP for Waiariki Tamati Coffey.

Teddy Stokes said "upgrading the skatepark would bring back those who have moved on from the sport, along with attracting skatepark tourists to Rotorua who would otherwise give us a miss due to our below-standard skatepark".

Ryan Gray, left, Teddy Stokes, Doug Yeandle, Raj Kumar, and Teone Jackson at the Rotorua Skatepark. Photo/Ben Fraser
Ryan Gray, left, Teddy Stokes, Doug Yeandle, Raj Kumar, and Teone Jackson at the Rotorua Skatepark. Photo/Ben Fraser

Crankworx competitor Connor Mahuika said when he was at Crankworx, "none of the international professional riders had an interest in riding the skatepark, and it would be great to have other spots in town for visitors to ride. Instead, they travelled to Taupo and other places".

Tamati Coffey said "I have always been in favour of young people getting out and getting active so a skatepark definitely gets the thumbs up from me, especially considering one in three people over the age of 15 are considered obese".

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Ryan Gray, who first started using the skatepark about 17 years ago, highlighted that one of Rotorua's Vision 2030 goals is "papa whakatipu - outstanding places to play",

He said the central skatepark is dated and damaged beyond repair, stating parts of the part have sunk into the ground, creating a dangerous feature for those unfamiliar with the park's damaged surfaces.

The group's supporters also had a strong presence at the LTP community consultation sessions in the last month.

Submissions closed on Friday.

The Long-Term Plan consultation option favoured by Upgrade Rotorua Skatepark. Image/Supplied
The Long-Term Plan consultation option favoured by Upgrade Rotorua Skatepark. Image/Supplied

The draft plan feedback will now be summarised in a final report and reviewed by council.

The "Improving Kuirau Park" section of the draft plan said, "alongside the revived aquatic centre the enhanced park will strengthen our connectedness to environment, culture, and lifestyle".

Projects in the park were allocated $7.5m, including starting construction on a geothermally-heated children's water play area, relocating the carpark and Saturday market to "better utilise the park for future development", a new outdoor community gathering area near the water play area, new toilet and changing room facilities, and a cafe and event space and a youth skatepark.

Councillor Raj Kumar, who received the petition on behalf of the Rotorua Lakes Council, was not happy about how long the skaters have had to wait for an upgrade.

"We were speaking with them three years ago about this same issue. I am tired of the shenanigans here. It is not just kids involved, it is adults too."