Skatepark ready for Elements
Porirua’s city centre skatepark’s makeover will be put to the test at Festival of the Elements’ skate competition on February 6.
The competition often attracts the best skaters from the region and some national stars at the allday event that attracts hundreds of spectators.
Porirua mayor Mike Tana said the park’s new design - which cost $17,000, on top of $28,000 for preparation, repairs, undercoat painting and security fencing - is apt considering how much action will take place there on Waitangi Day.
The concept was designed by Porirua Community Arts Council member Moses Viliamu and then brought to life in painted 3D form by Marc Spijkerbosch, who is internationally regarded for similar work.
The design tells a Ngati Toa story of Awarua, the Porirua Harbour taniwha, who wanted to fly.
Awarua’s albatross friend Rereroa inspired him and encouraged him with flying lessons, and it is these two characters which feature on the main part of the park.
The park sits on what used to be the edge of Porirua Harbour.
‘‘It’s fitting that some of the country’s top skaters will get to test out the new design, which is a work of artistic magic,’’ Tana said.
‘‘This year’s festival element is air, which ties in with both the Ngati Toa legend of Awarua and the skaters, who’ll be getting air on their skateboards.’’
Spijkerbosch, who has worked on a number of Porirua projects, completed the skate park’s makeover with local artists in December.
The design brief and management of the project was jointly carried out by the community arts council and Porirua City Council, with input from Ngati Toa and Porirua skaters.
Arts council chairwoman Judy McKoy said the makeover, updating a previous design by Michel Tuffrey, was a triumph.
‘‘We’re seeing a tired and worn skate park emerge with a new and relevant design that really puts Porirua on the map.’’
Tana paid tribute to everyone involved.
‘‘The skatepark is looking awesome - the arts council and artists have put in some long hours to [complete it].’’ from early 2018.
AMI Community Grants is back for 2017, with even more funds to hand out.
An initiative between insurer AMI and Neighbourly.co.nz, it is designed to enhance New Zealand communities by providing funding to local organisations and community projects needing a little helping hand. This year the campaign has been extended to allow Neighbourly members to apply for grants alongside registered Neighbourly organisations and the prize pool increased to $20,000. Criteria will be focused on initiatives or organisations addressing a real safety issue or concern in the community.
Prizes are a community organisation grand prize of $5000, a member project prize of $2000, four $2000 prizes for not-for-profits or community or community organisations and four $1000 awards for Neighbourly member projects.
From left, Mark Spijkerbosch, Porirua mayor Mike Tana, Moses Viliamu and Judy McKoy. Whiti Te Ra, The story of Ngati Toa Rangatira