"Disappointed would be a light word to use."

That was Ryan Gray's reaction after reading the Rotorua Lakes Council staff's skatepark recommendations to delay a $2 million upgrade for four to five years.

"That will make it nine years that we have been waiting. It has had big community support across the political spectrum but for some reason, it just keeps getting pushed back," the skating advocate said.

Read more: Rotorua skateboarders collect submissions and almost 500 signatures for facility upgrade in Long-term Plan


"There definitely is a misconception about skaters... There is an unfortunate stereotype that people wearing hoodies or baggy pants and informal dress are up to no good."

At the Strategy, Policy and Finance Committee's long-term plan deliberations yesterday sport and recreation portfolio lead councillor Charles Sturt said the upgrade needed to start next year and that philanthropic funders "are all queuing up waiting".

"The reality is these kids cannot wait four to five years with that dilapidated, rundown, broken, dangerous in certain instances that I have alluded to staff, skatepark... Our local kids, who came before us and begged us to get it under way and yet we've treated them like that. I find that disgraceful..."

Councillor Raj Kumar agreed.

"We all know what happens in the four to five-year plan. Now they [skaters] are dismayed.

"They've come with a petition asking us how long are you going to diddle with us?"

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Mayor Steve Chadwick said "I understand your support, I'm with you on that one too".

The skatepark deliberations were then pushed back to the second day of the meeting, today.

Skatepark timeline:

June 2015: Submissions to 2015 - 2025 long-term plan ask for skatepark upgrade.

July 2015: Cr Sturt expresses support to see the park upgraded.

March 2017: Skatepark advisory group established to provide feedback and guidance on a potential upgrade.

July 2017: Skatepark design concept put out for public consultation.

March 2018: 2018 - 2028 long-term plan put out for consultation and an upgraded skatepark is proposed within an upgraded Kuirau Park complex.

April 2018: Video released featuring local skatepark users, parents and MP Tamati Coffey supporting an upgrade.

April 2018: Petition signed by 405 people wanting skatepark upgrade presented to council.

May 2018: Long-term Plan deliberations.