Long journey to new skatepark


A 13-year journey will be realised on Saturday when Methven’s brand new skatepark is officially unveiled.

The impressive park features ride walls, skate bowls and other challenges and is located on council land on the corner of Bank and McMillan streets.

The public opening takes places at 1pm, but and special memorial tree will be planted at 11.30am in memory of the late Ken Lowe, an early, passionate supporter of the project.

The skate park project has been a dream driven by Kidz Methven since 2007.

Kidz Methven chair Liz McMillan said the finished project exceeded expectations, but had been a long time in the making.

“It’s a great facility and something that we as a committee are really very proud of.”

Founding committee members Sally-Ann Kircher and Tania Sheridan were still involved after all these years and deserved a lot of credit.

She said the project had lost momentum for a while, but fundraising had ramped up three years ago when an incorporated society had been formed.

Ms McMillan said around $130,000 has been raised for the project and the builders had “gone above and beyond” on it.

There had also been good community support, including at a recent planting day.

Donations for the project have been received from Advance Ashburton, New Zealand Community Trust, Mid and South Canterbury Trust, Mackenzie Charitable Foundation and Methven Lions.

In early 2000 there was a popular indoor skatepark in Methven, but the privately-owned venue was damaged in the 2011 earthquake.

Kidz Methven later secured a site on land near The Dubliner, but it was decided it was not suitable because it was too close to the main road.

The alternate site on the corner of Bank and McMillan streets was identified by Ashburton District Council and the first sod was turned at the end of August last year.

Kidz Methven will lease the land from the council for three years and will have a further right of renewal.

Kidz Methven committee members Tania Sheridan, Sam Kircher with baby Charlie, Liz McMillan, Mark Harris, Sally-Ann Kircher, Tokiyo Hall, Sarah Lock and Huia Campbell celebrate turning the first sod on the new site last August.


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