Kerikeri youth have given a thumbs-up to plans for a new skate park due to start construction next week.
The project's $680,000 budget will be covered by a $3 million Provincial Growth Fund grant to upgrade Kerikeri Domain, announced last year by then Regional Development Minister Shane Jones.
The new park will be bigger, will cater to a range of styles and skill levels, and be among the best in the country.
Skateboarders and scooter riders were excited when shown the plans by the Advocate this week.
While the existing skate park is hugely popular there's plenty of room for improvement, they say.
Che Clare, 19, said the park needed more drops, stair sets, ledges and gaps to cater to street-style skateboarding.
It also needed smoother concrete than the rough surfaces of the existing park. He hoped it included a flat rail because that wasn't visible in the plans.
Reef Owen, 14, approved of the design but said he'd like to see even more obstacles.
His only reservation was the proximity of the basketball court, which could cause accidents as players went to retrieve errant balls.
Scooter rider Lucas Thomas, 16, said it would be ''much better'' than the existing park, and the bowl looked to be of the same design as one of the top skate parks he'd visited in Australia.
The new park has been designed for skateboards, scooters and bikes by former pro skateboarder Dave Crabb of Kerikeri.
It will be built by his company, Circle D Construction, with help from skate park experts around the country.
Crabb said the design had been informed by feedback from local skaters and his travels around the country looking at skate parks.
''Basically the plan is to get the most skate park we can for the allocated budget. It'll be three times better than what we've got now and one of the best in New Zealand.''
The new facility would be suitable for all ages and designed to allow progression so kids didn't get bored as their skills improved.
It would have a ''good-sized'' street area with steps, rails, banks and kerbs. It would include a flat rail, although it wasn't obvious in the illustrations.
It would also have a transition area leading to a pool or bowl, simulating the kind of facilities Olympic skateboarders trained on.
The existing ramp would be demolished and replaced with a new one of similar height (3.4m) but an extra 2.4m in width, allowing locals to train for international competitions.
The plans also included a new basketball court.
Crabb said fences would go up on Monday and the existing ramp would come down at the end of the week. Contractors would demolish the existing park the following week.
He hoped to have the park partly finished in time for the next Vert Jam skate contest on November 20, with the full opening in time for the summer holidays.
Reef Owen, 14, said the appeal of the sport was that it allowed him to interact and be competitive with a community of people who shared the same interest.
It was also good for coordination, fitness and muscle memory, and taught dedication because of the time it took to master new tricks.
The skate park is not the only improvement planned at the domain.
Lane Ayr, chairman of the Kerikeri Domain Working Group, said other plans included a ''world-class'' playground, an adult exercise area, a wider pathway, perimeter plantings and a terraced grass viewing area.