Basketball court planned
A square slab of uninspiring concrete in O¯ tangarei is to be transformed into a basketball facility the community can be proud of.
There are currently yellow lines delineating the court area but there are no hoops and nothing that really draws people to the site off Mckinnon Cr.
But plans have been drawn up for an area that is sure to attract more attention.
It’s hoped that around the basketball court sponsorship will allow for picnic tables, artistic fencing, player seating, water fountains, gardens and rubbish bins.
Sport Northland Whanga¯ rei community connector Ryan Maraki is involved in the project and said through a series of hui youth identified the renovation of the old basketball court as a priority.
The project was presented to the Kainga Ora Rejuvenation project steering group and as a result Sport Northland partnered with Northland DHB and the design process began with Akau ¯ Studio consulting with the O¯ tangarei community.
Others behind the project who have contributed financially are Ministry of Social Development, Te Puni Ko¯ kiri, Mania PHO, Housing New Zealand and the Whanga¯ rei District Council.
Support has also come from Te¯ Awhiowhio, Otangarei Marae and the Otangarei ¯ Neighbourhood Safety Panel.
“I hope it becomes a treasured space in the community. It’s more than just throwing up hoops. It’s going to be a central piece for the domain,” Maraki said.
Following the hui there was a suggestion there should be a memorial to muchloved educator Matua Alex Henare incorporated.
A pou in the middle of a koru designed garden will be a memorial.
Maraki said having the community involved in the design resulted in it being more meaningful to the users.
When the building begins a working bee will be held and community support will be a priority to complete the project, from concrete layers, builders, machine operators, gardeners, painters, carvers and labourers.
Eight-year-old Kohatu Hauwai-dunnis, with the ball, is looking forward to playing basketball with his friends in O¯ tangarei.