Tawa stu­dents push for bet­ter skate park

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - SEAN NU­GENT

‘‘It would cre­ate a re­ally cool hub where peo­ple could come down here, do a few dif­fer­ent things and hang out.’’

A group of Tawa In­ter­me­di­ate stu­dents is lead­ing a cam­paign to re­de­velop and im­prove Tawa Skate Park.

They took their ideas and a 130-sig­na­ture pe­ti­tion to the Tawa Com­mu­nity Board ear­lier this month in the hope the coun­cil will up­grade the park, at Grasslees Re­serve, ex­pand­ing it into an empty plot of green space be­side it.

The group also con­ducted an on­line sur­vey, re­ceiv­ing a strong back­ing from the near 300 re­sponses.

The skate park has just two small ramps, a box, and two rails dis­con­nected from the main course for riders. A lone bas­ket­ball hoop also sits in the cor­ner, which the group be­lieves is a safety is­sue.

Hav­ing seen the suc­cess of the re­de­vel­oped parks in Porirua and Wai­tangi Park, the stu­dents be­lieved an up­grade in Tawa would at­tract bet­ter skaters and could even be ca­pa­ble of hold­ing events.

‘‘I think it has po­ten­tial,’’ Eliot Knight, 10, said.

The pop­u­lar­ity of the skate parks out­side of Tawa was also a con­cern, as the stu­dents of­ten found them to be too busy.

‘‘When you go to Porirua or even Wai­tangi [skate parks], it’s al­ways busy, no mat­ter what time of day,’’ mother Stephanie Knight said.

The skate park could form a part of a large cen­tral recre­ational hub in Tawa, she said.

‘‘You could have more com­mu­nity events here – with the pool and the park [Grasslees Re­serve] there as well, it would cre­ate a re­ally cool hub where peo­ple could come down here, do a few dif­fer­ent things and hang out for the day.’’

North­ern ward coun­cil­lor Jill Day re­fused to rule out the pos­si­bil­ity of an up­grade, al­though she ad­mit­ted it would ‘‘take some time’’.

The stu­dents had made a com­pelling ar­gu­ment at the com­mu­nity board meet­ing, but there were con­cerns over the own­er­ship of the land next to the skate park, which she said was owned by the fire ser­vice.

There was no chance of an up­grade be­fore the end of the year, she said.

SEAN NU­GENT

Mother Stephanie Knight Eliot Knight, Sachin Kanji, Xavier Pine, Henry Spinks (all of Tawa In­ter­me­di­ate), and Lucy Knight, are hop­ing the coun­cil can up­grade Tawa skate park in the near fu­ture.

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