A year-long project that will be the next stage in the development of Napier's Marine Parade is set to get under way in November and a key part of the design has been inspired by one of the legends of Maori mythology - Maui.

The centrepiece of the redevelopment will be the skating and concert facility across what was once the Marineland site.

Its designer, Nic Magdalinos of Paris Magdalinos Architects, said the final design drew in Maori mythology and the local environment.

An artist's impression of the new skatebowl area planned for Marine Parade.
An artist's impression of the new skatebowl area planned for Marine Parade.

As it would effectively be framed by Mahia Peninsular and Cape Kidnappers, it would be Napier's place to "talk to the Pacific and to the wider global community", Mr Magdalinos said.


"Cape Kidnappers, or the hook of Maui, is of prime importance as it's our locator in the world," he said. "Maui was the innovator, the maverick, the challenger of status quo - he was the initiator of a new world cycle, catching the sun and slowing it down, and he was this nation's fisherman, responsible for pulling up the North Island."

What had once been a marine attraction and for the past few months vacant after the last of the seals housed there were shipped off to Australia and new marine homes will be revamped into an extensively equipped skating area designed by world-renowned skate park creator Richard Smith. It has been designed to cater for all skill levels of skaters and skateboarders, and will provide a venue for other roller sports such as roller derby and in-line hockey.

A full skate bowl and wooden ramps will be built and the existing grandstand will be upgraded to give the facility a multi-purpose approach, as concerts, community events and other attractions could be staged and viewed from it.

The present SK8 Zone will remain open until the new facility is completed and would then be closed. No decision on what would then happen to that site has been finalised at this stage.

A splash park of water features leading to a feature pool with fountains lit by LED lights is also planned beside the proposed skating centre.

There will be promenades and plantings, as well as pathways leading to lookout points aligned with Mahia and Cape Kidnappers.

"The plans for the development are fantastic and we're excited about enhancing this wonderful area even further," Marine Parade redevelopment committee chairman Keith Price said.

"We've worked hard with the architects to ensure the design is both sympathetic to the environment but at the same time innovative and multi-purpose."

Mr Price said the redevelopment of Napier's Marine Parade represents a "crucial opportunity" to revive the city's coastal amenities and create a public space that belongs to all of Napier and beyond.

New carparking to service the skate park and existing playground area has been provided, and a significant carparking facility will be retained where the leased parking is located, but it will be accessible as casual public parking.

The $5.7 million project is set for completion by December 2016.