Mount Maunganui children designed and built their own go-karts and have hit the startline with gusto.

Arataki Primary, St Thomas More Catholic School and Olive Tree Childcare have joined forces to take up the challenge of designing and building their own go-karts, with three teams from each competing for prizes

The first of the three race days took place at St Thomas Moore Catholic School on Monday, with prizes handed out for the fastest karts and highest points accumulated.

Olive Tree Childcare centre manager Philip Brickell said it was a great learning experience for the children as they designed, built and painted their machines

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Mr Brickell said not only did the children learn while creating their own go-karts, they learned about the merits of working as a team and the excitement of competing in a real race.

"But one of the biggest things from participating in the challenge like this, is it brings the little community of Arataki together and everyone involved benefits from the experience."

Mr Brickell said some residents from Somerville Retirement Village across the street helped the children build their go-karts then came and watched the races.

"Some of the retirement village residents came dressed up in the go-kart teams' colours to cheer them on and one or two stayed on to spend more time with the kids."

The next two races take place on June 26 and July 4, following by a charity auction of some of the go-karts on July 6 at Arataki School to raise funds for local Salvation Army.

ITM donated the wood and the wheels were gifted by Wheel Co.