Group calls for urgent skate park upgrade

People want improvements made to the skate park in Lloyd Elsmore, Pakuranga.

Calls are growing for action to be taken over what people say is a lack of safe and easily accessible skate parks in east Auckland.

Despite the rain, more than 50 people gathered at the Lloyd Elsmore Skatepark in Pakuranga on November 3 for an event organised by Aaron Martin, who describes himself as a “passionate local skater dad”.

He says he and others believe the facility is no longer up to scratch.

“The old Lloyd Elsmore Skatepark was built over 20 years ago and it shows,” Martin says.
“The park urgently needs an upgrade, with a street-style park to cater for all ages and experience.”

He says the park’s “worn concrete” is a health and safety risk and someone told him it was like “hitting a cheese-grater”.

“Even to the non-skater, it’s clear the park is well past its best-before date, with large cracks through the concrete.”

But Martin says the park’s surface isn’t the only issue.
Users are quick to point out the design faults in its ramps and rails, he says.

“The lack of lighting, toilets, water fountains or even rubbish bins made it unpleasant and at times dangerous.”

Martin says despite these issues, the park is still used due to the lack of alternatives.

The only option is to travel to Barry Curtis Skatepark in Flat Bush or Victoria Park in Auckland’s CBD, he says.

Martin says the Flat Bush facility is too far for many younger users to get to and its popularity means it’s not always a practical option.

Howick Local Board members Bruce Kendall and David Collings went along to Martin’s event at the Lloyd Elsmore Skatepark.

They acknowledge the current state is not adequate. “It’s clearly not okay,” Collings says.

He added that numerous plans to replace or upgrade the park have not come to fruition.

Kendall encouraged those in attendance to ensure they were heard on the issue.

Martin says he and others are putting together a proposal to present to the Howick Local Board and welcome public support.

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