Written by on February 8, 2022

For nearly 30 years a skatepark in Tairua has been the subject of intense discussion and debate. A situation that’s escalated with time, as the community has been unable to find agreement on a skatepark for an area with a growing population.

In more recent times the campaigns have become intense with locals split, particularly on the location of a proposed skatepark facility.

Today, in what will be a closed to the public session, TCDC will consider the Veros report. Veros are consultants and were engaged by TCDC to help with the site selection phase and their report was made available last week. You can see the report here. The results published by TCDC in their meeting agenda for today’s council meeting, show Cory Park a clear preferred location from this study.

The report has received comment from the two so far declared mayoral candidates for this year’s election who clearly see this as an important issue for the Tairua community. John Freer said in a release yesterday “For Tairua residents this is a matter, which for more than 30 years, has divided the community and during all this time locals and visitors have gone without a skatepark.”

He was also critical of the report and believed it missed two crucial areas, being comparisons to other skateparks already established around the Coromandel for noise related comparisons and a comments by police on positioning, who he said were imperative in the location of the Thames skatepark. Also mentioned by John Freer was manu whenua support with double points (6) attributed to Ngat Hei and Ngati Maru when three points should have been allocated encompassing the wider Hauraki Collective.

Len Salt, also a mayoral candidate told CFM, “Council has to have the courage to make the right decisions, even if it means the possibility of facing challenges from various quarters. No council is ever going to please everyone all the time. The council, the mayor, the community board and the local community have tried to find a solution and they continue to do so. They should be commended for that. This skatepark can get built in a spirit of good-will and co-operation, but it needs some compromise and understanding on all sides to get there. Pushing it down the road for another few years is not okay and it’s unfair on the kids of Tairua.”

He went on to say “If Cory Park is selected then they will need to find a resolution with the Preserve Cory Park Domain Society, a consortium of some local residents and homeowners, who have offered $250,000 towards moving the location of the skatepark to Pepe.”

Both Mayoral candidates are in agreement that it is up to Tairua residents to find a solution and to do this now rather than continue to debate and create further division in the community. They are also critical of this being a ‘closed to the public’ session by TCDC and would have preferred to have seen this as an open meeting.

As one mother said to John Freer, she did not mind where the skatepark is built “as long as it is built”.

Hopefully a way forward can be found and TCDC will make some decisions and progress will be made today.

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