Following the opening of a similar project in Ahipara, last week it was Kaitaia's turn to celebrate, with the opening of its new pump track on Friday.
The new $275,000, 1,200m2 outdoor facility located on Bank St was built by Velosolutions and is bigger than its Ahipara counterpart by about 200m2.
The official opening was originally scheduled for Saturday, however, due to the new traffic light system restrictions, a soft, virtual opening took place instead.
The pump track forms part of the Te Hiku Open Spaces Revitalisation Project- a rollout of spatially planned physical projects as part of the Te Hiku Masterplan.
Far North District Council applied for funding for the project last year as part of the Provincial Growth Fund's shovel-ready, Covid-19 funding application delivered by former Minister for Regional Economic Development Shane Jones.
FNDC councillor Felicity Foy was MC for the virtual event, which included special guests and Te Rarawa kaumatua Eru Harawira conducting the blessing of the track.
MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis performed the official ribbon-cutting before a group of students from Kaitaia's Pompellier Catholic School and Ahipara School gave the track its first official test-run.
Councillor Foy was responsible for putting the application together on behalf of FNDC and has been instrumental in helping design and curate the project.
She said the project had been a great team effort with the Te Hiku Community Board, as well as local partners, schools and businesses.
"This makes my heart feel happy. It's why I do the job because it's not always easy trying to get money for projects like this off the ground," Foy said.
"Doing all of this as part of the Te Hiku Masterplan is about creating inclusiveness, so no matter somebody's background, they are able to enjoy these open spaces.
"The original proposal for the master plan was for $28 million, however, Central Government only funded around $7 million in total.
"We chose to prioritise the $7 million on the elements of the masterplan that would result in positive outcomes for our young people and future generations.
"This project is not only about the things for kids and families, though, it's also about making people get out there and enjoy physical activity."
Kaitaia Business Association (KBA) chair Andrea Panther said it was a great day and announced that another pump track was being planned for the region.
"This was supposed to be the last one, but now Awanui wants to get a smaller pump track in lieu of the half basketball court that was planned for its new park," Panther said.
"A pump track caters for so many more people, so we will be looking at doing a 700m2 track which will likely be finished by the end of next year.
"It's great that Velosolutions has designed these tracks, being an international company. If someone was to create a club here this track could host its own professional competition."
Shine On Kaitaia held a sausage sizzle stall on Saturday to mark the occasion and to support the young people who turned out to use the track.
A number of businesses were also involved with the delivery of the project, including FNR Quarries (metal and site work), Far North Roading (landscaping), Onsite Access (security fencing), Printing.com (signage), Northscape (planting and ready-lawn grass), Procrete (for installation of bird seats), OTO Construction (installation of the table bases), Busck Concrete (tables), Recreational Services (assisting with the installation of tables, pruning trees and mowing the park in preparation for the opening day) and CBEC, which allowed trucks and diggers to use its pool drive accessway and water supply.
The Te Hiku Open Spaces Revitalisation Project has been designed to be staged to allow physical progress straight away and to collaborate with community groups and iwi in each township, to provide connectivity and recognition to the rich culture and history of the Te Hiku area.
The Te Hiku Community Board is now working to spatially plan, scope and prioritise works within the open spaces in Te Kao, Houhora Heads/Pukenui, Karikari Peninsula, Doubtless Bay, Taipa and Hihi.
The group is also seeking to look at an overall cycle trail route for Te Hiku as part of this spatial planning exercise.