Skatepark ready for El­e­ments

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - STAFF RE­PORTER

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.

GRANTS AVAIL­ABLE

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.

PHOTO: RICHARD WITHEFORD-SMITH

From left, Mark Spi­jker­bosch, Porirua mayor Mike Tana, Moses Vil­iamu and Judy McKoy. Whiti Te Ra, The story of Ngati Toa Ran­gatira

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