A new skate park at Kerikeri Domain is on track to be at least partly open in time for the summer holidays.
The $680,000 park — paid for by a Provincial Growth Fund and part of a wider Domain upgrade — will be significantly bigger than the old one and will cater to a wider range of styles and skill levels.
The project is led by pro skater turned builder Dave Crabb, of Kerikeri, who said the new park would be one of the best in New Zealand.
Construction of the new ramp, which will be 2.4m wider and slightly higher than the old one, was well underway.
Crabb said he planned to have at least the ramp and bowl open before Christmas so that children could use it during the summer holidays.
Jake Ward, 14, does a back flip on a scooter at Kerikeri's old skate park while skateboarder Reef Owen looks on. Photo / Peter de Graaf
That would, however, depend on sign-off from the Far North District Council and progress on other elements such as footpaths.
The annual Vert Jam skate contest, originally scheduled for November 20, had been postponed due to Auckland’s Covid lockdown and was now expected to be held during the grand opening in March.
”The ramp will be ready [in November], and we’ll be ready, but unfortunately the people can’t be here. We’ve had strong interest around the country but they can’t get through Auckland.”
Crabb’s firm, Circle D Construction, is being assisted by Acid NZ, a specialist skate bowl company based in Hamilton, and Taupō’s Bowman Hansen, one of New Zealand’s top skateboarders.
Another contractor is building the footpaths and a new basketball court.
Covid had not significantly delayed the project, Crabb said.
Work is on track to open Kerikeri's new skate ramp in time for summer. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Construction was allowed to continue in level 3 and the materials, including timber for the ramp and steel for the bowl, had been pre-ordered well in advance. This avoided the supply chain problems dogging other building projects around the country.
Crabb said the design had been informed by feedback from local skaters and his travels around the country looking at skate parks.
The new facility would be suitable for all ages and would allow progression so that kids didn’t get bored as their skills improved.
Kerikeri's old skate ramp was dismantled last month and transported to its new home in Moerewa. Photo / Peter de Graaf
The old bowl has been demolished while the old ramp has been dismantled and will be installed in Moerewa’s Nisbett Park or Simson Park.
Other improvements in the pipeline at Kerikeri Domain include a “world-class” playground, an adult exercise area, a wider pathway, perimeter plantings and a grass terraces for spectators.