A square slab of uninspiring concrete in Ōtangarei is to be transformed into a basketball facility the community can be proud of.

There are currently yellow lines delineating the court area but there are no hoops and nothing that really draws people to the site off McKinnon Cr.

But plans have been drawn up for an area that is sure to attract more attention.

It's hoped that around the basketball court sponsorship will allow for picnic tables, artistic fencing, player seating, water fountains, gardens and rubbish bins.


Sport Northland Whangārei community connector Ryan Maraki is involved in the project and said through a series of hui youth identified the renovation of the old basketball court as a priority.

The project was presented to the Kainga Ora Rejuvenation project steering group and as a result Sport Northland partnered with Northland District Health Board and the design process began with Ākau Studio consulting with the Ōtangarei community.

Others behind the project who have contributed financially are Ministry of Social Development, Te Puni Korkiri, Mania Public Health Organisation, Housing New Zealand and the Whangarei District Council.

Support has also come from Te Awhiowhio, Ōtangarei Marae and the Ōtangarei Neighbourhood Safety Panel.

"I hope it becomes a treasured space in the community. It's more than just throwing up hoops. It's going to be a central piece for the domain," Maraki said.

Following the hui with the youth there was a suggestion there should be a memorial to much-loved local educator Matua Alex Henare incorporated into the revamp. A pou in the middle of a koru designed garden will be a memorial.

Maraki said having the community involved in the design resulted in the area being more meaningful to the users.

When the building phase begins a working bee will be held and community support will be needed to complete the project from concrete layers, builders, machine operators, gardeners, painters, carvers and labourers.