A steady stream of people provided plenty of ideas for the refurbishment and extension of Whangārei's Pohe Island skate park.

Suggestions included a smoother surface, lights so people can scoot, skate and ride later into the evening, rubbish bins, a new street section added to the park and more.

Whangārei District Council and skatepark designer Rich Landscapes held a workshop to gather ideas at the skatepark last week.

The council had no preconceived ideas heading into the workshop and said no plans or sketches had been produced - it wanted to hear from as many people as possible, and the ideas came thick and fast.

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Richard Smith, second from left, discusses ideas with skate park users. Photo/John Stone
Richard Smith, second from left, discusses ideas with skate park users. Photo/John Stone

Richard Smith, from Rich Landscapes, displayed photos of a range of "different kinds of environments".

People were given three red stickers and could stick them on the photos of things they liked.

"You can start seeing some sheets are completely empty and some are starting to fill up."

There was also chance for people write down their suggestions, and Smith was involved in plenty of conversations with skate park users.

The skate park designer will be working collaboratively with Opus, the designers for the playground which will be built nearby, to integrate and connect the spaces.

The council's budget for both the skate park and playground is $2 million.

Both projects are scheduled in the Long Term Plan. Construction of the skatepark is planned for the 2021/2022 financial year while construction of the playground is planned for the 2019/20 financial year.

It is part of the William Fraser Memorial Park on Pohe Island Reserve Management Plan that was formulated in 2013.

Pohe Island is approximately 54 hectares in area and is owned and managed by the council, who has responsibility for its maintenance and general administration as a recreation reserve under the provisions of the Reserves Act 1977, the District Plan and
Council bylaws.

Pohe Island is unique in that it is a relatively large coastal open space located within close proximity to central Whangārei. It was Whangārei's largest urban landfill site. Future use and development of Pohe Island for recreation is constrained by past landfill operations.

Recreation activities and uses currently on the site include a skate park, BMX track, sports fields and water-based facilities, including clubrooms and a ramp.

The plan also includes a 272 space carpark which is also currently under construction on the former dump site and plans for a children's playground.

The plan, which contains specific provisions for the future management and development of Pohe Island as a recreation reserve can be viewed here: http://www.wdc.govt.nz/FacilitiesandRecreation/ReservesandOpenSpaces/ReserveManagementPlans/Documents/William-Fraser-Memorial-Park-on-Pohe-Island-Management-Plan.pdf.

The Northern Advocate headed along to the workshop and asked a some of those what they wanted to see at the skatepark.

Trent Wirihana, 18, Whangārei
Trent Wirihana, 18, Whangārei

Trent Wirihana, 18, Whangārei

"Just have the skatepark resurfaced and have a bit of a street course on the side."

Sam Johns, 28, Whangārei
Sam Johns, 28, Whangārei

Sam Johns, 28, Whangārei

"A lot of the park fixed up, make the concrete smoother. A street section with a step gap and a mini spine... take out the bank so you can hit the stairs from both sides."

Eli Shepherd, 20, Whangārei
Eli Shepherd, 20, Whangārei

Eli Shepherd, 20, Whangārei

"I'd like to see smoother transition in the 1/4 pipe and the bowl. I reckon they're a bit too steep for BMX, scooters and skaters and see a bit more flow with the park. A wider, bigger area - it gets a bit crowded sometimes ... more options outside rather than inside the park."

Adam Moggach, 13, Whangārei
Adam Moggach, 13, Whangārei

Adam Moggach, 13, Whangārei

"Lights and mellower ramps. A few more rubbish bins around because it ends up with a bit of rubbish around. A kids' section - a smaller place where they can learn to do it without getting in the way or getting hurt."