Skatepark on way

Young­sters help cre­ation

South Waikato News - - NEWS / HE PURONGORONGO - By CAITLIN WAL­LACE

A skatepark has been the talk of Man­gakino for over two decades and now the com­mu­nity’s wishes are com­ing true.

The Man­gakino/ Pouakani rep­re­sen­ta­tive group is on the verge of reach­ing its $200,000 goal for the fa­cil­ity.

The group has al­ready ac­cu­mu­lated $150,000 from grants and left­over project funds from the Taupo District Coun­cil.

And while the money is on its way the com­mu­nity has been proac­tive to make it a re­al­ity.

A work­ing group com­pris­ing group rep­re­sen­ta­tives and school chil­dren has been re­search­ing the op­tions avail­able.

Com­mu­nity mem­ber and rep­re­sen­ta­tive Lisa de Thierry is pleased with the progress.

‘‘The idea has fi­nally evolved and been ac­cepted,’’ she said.

Part of the re­search was to look at skateparks in Mata­mata, Mor­rinsville and Tu­rangi.

De Thierry said the chil­dren de­cided they liked the Tu­rangi con­crete skatepark de­sign the best. She said the chil­dren’s in­volve­ment has also been a good ex­pe­ri­ence for them.

‘‘It’s re­ally good teach­ing them about lead­er­ship skills and shar­ing,’’ she said.

For res­i­dent Lisa Jakes the idea has also been a long time com­ing.

Jakes has lived in Man­gakino for more than 30 years and has al­ways no­ticed ap­peals for the fa­cil­ity.

‘‘I think over the years there’s been re­quests for a skate park,’’ she said.

The pleas and as­pi­ra­tions for one have not worked in the past un­til now, ac­cord­ing to Jakes.

‘‘This last re­quest from the young people was more sub­stan­tial,’’ she said.

Her chil­dren are too old to en­joy it but Jakes said it will be a great ad­di­tion to the town.

She said the park is part of the town up­grade which is in its ‘‘very early’’ stages.

Right time: The empty space in Man­gakino town cen­tre will soon be a skatepark.

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