Where did the proposal to upgrade the skate park come from?

    Though the 2015-25 Long Term Plan Council received submissions from the community asking for the skate park at Sheaf Park to be improved. The submissions identified safety issues with the park, that it was out of date and an eyesore. Elected members asked Council staff to work with existing skate park users and the wider community to come up with a design, associated costs and a location.

    When was the existing skate park built?

    The Skate Park was first constructed in 1998 with a further extension done a few years later.

    Why is the skate park going on the corner of Kuirau and Pukuatua Streets?

    • It’s a high visibility site and this increases the safety of people using the park;
    • The site is big enough to provide for a multi-user skate park whilst maintaining significant green space;
    • Due to the geothermal nature of much of the park, this area is deemed the most suitable for construction;
    • Allows other areas within the park to be developed in a cohesive way that is sympathetic to the geothermal environment and makes the most of the current park layout. (e.g. plans to create a geothermal play area extending on the existing play space)

    Why was the decision made to move the skate park to Kuirau Park?

    Constructing a new skate park at Kuirau Park was proposed during the 2018-2028 Long-term Plan consultation period. There are a number of reasons for the decision to move it to Kuirau Park which include:

    • It is close to the city centre and is easy to access from the CyWay and bus routes;
    • There is suitable facilities, such as parking and toilets within the wider park to support this activity, with more already planned as part of the overall Kuirau Park re-development;
    • It will enhance the current no cost, family friendly offerings and extend on the current age related play activities to provide spaces for a wide range of family groups.
    • There is good visibility from neighbouring properties and passing vehicles and other park users which increases the safety of people using the park;
    • The park is big enough to provide for a multi-user skate park whilst maintaining significant green space

    Were other locations considered?

    Sheaf Park, where the current skate park is located, was considered. However Kuirau Park provided greater benefits for users in terms of safety, connection to facilities and a more pleasant environment. Adding a skate park within Kuirau Park would enhance the park as family friendly recreational community asset.

    How did the concept design come about - I’ve heard the words “participatory design” – but I’m not sure what that actually means?

    In joining the forces of an urban skate park designer and community advisors, we actively sought a participatory design, whereby a project team collaborates to deliver the final ‘concept’ design.

    Together the project team have designed a facility they feel best fits the needs of all the community and not just skaters.

    With a collaborative core, the design principles are:

    • The design should complement the site and make use of the existing features;

    • The skate park must cater for a variety of users and a range of abilities;

    • The design should include skate-able art features and reflect what is unique about Rotorua;

    • The skate park should be able to hold both community and national events;

    • The design must include seating, shade, planting, lawn areas, parking and other similar features.

    What will the skate park be made out of?

    The skate park will be constructed using concrete. There are number of reasons that we think that concrete is the best option:

    • Concrete will last longer and require less maintenance which means less cost of the life of the skate park;

    • There is less risk of vandalism with concrete;

    • Concrete will create less noise which will be better for the residents and businesses that are close to the skate park. 

    How much will it cost and who is going to pay for it?

    As part of the 2018-2028 Long-term Plan Council committed $750,000 funding to the proposed redevelopment. Council will be looking for other funders to contribute to the overall cost, once a final estimate is ascertained. The initial estimate for Sheaf Park was $2.1 million however with additional facilities such as toilets and car parking already available in Kuirau Park the cost could be less than this.

    The proposed redevelopment will be designed to enable the development to be staged over multiple years if necessary.

    What is a Long Term Plan?

    Long-term Plans meet a legislative requirement for local authorities and replace what were previously referred to as Ten Year Plans (or more formally Long Term Council Community Plans or LTCCPs).

    How will the skate park development affect me as a resident or local business?


    There are a few ways the skate park may affect residents and local businesses including:

    • Council is working through preparation for the design phase and to secure external funding for the project. Council will work with the advisory group and wider community as plans for the skate park are developed.

    • Through the initial community engagement process for Sheaf Park and subsequent feedback from the community, we learnt that the skate park design should incorporate:
      • elements to cater for a variety of users and a range of abilities;
      • skate-able art features that reflect what is unique about Rotorua;
      • elements to enable both community and national events;
      • seating, shade, planting, lawn areas, security lighting and other similar features to enhance landscape value of the space for all users and neighbours;
      • materials ( such as concrete) that will be hard wearing and is much quieter than wooden/metal ramps particularly for residents and businesses close to the skate park.

    • Kuirau Park already has a range of parking and other facilities that will support the introduction of a new skate park.

    • The space will attract a range of users including families.

    • It is proposed to use concrete for the redevelopment of the skate park which is quieter than currently used wood and metal ramps.