BY JULIA WADE
Thanks to a recent financial gift Mangawhai’s zone for adventure can now offer even more excitement to skaters, players and spectators.
Northland Regional Council (NRC) have remained true to their promise made 12 months ago and have donated $500,000 to Mangawhai Activity Zone (MAZ) allowing for the formation of one of the ‘deepest and best-constructed’ skate bowls in the Southern Hemisphere, MAZ chair Colin Gallagher says.
“The latest council funding will be a major advantage for those budding Olympian skaters to enable them to train for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics! We’re also hugely delighted with our ability to host major national skating events such as The Bowl Jam held early February each year,” he says.
“MAZ sincerely appreciates the benefits of this grant, not only for the skaters but also for the community. The park is becoming a focal point for families, friends and visitors alike with its wide range of outdoor activities for all ages.”
Gallagher also wants to extend ‘a big thank you’ to Silverdale civil contractors Contrax Ltd, who worked the site, saying he was ‘very impressed’ with their skill and conduct, and to Sport Northland’s Stu Middleton who was ‘a great support’ through the funding process which has been going on for around eight months.
“Grants such as these create new opportunities for young children youths and families to be outside together enjoying pursuits as this is part of the fabric that communities need to be active together,” MAZ chair Colin Gallagher says.
The grant is made possible due to a Regional Sporting Facilities Rate, introduced via NRC’s 2018-28 Long Term Plan, the $15 charge per household aiming to assist with the development of Northland’s sporting facilities.
Last year the previous council had earmarked almost $3.8 million to be paid in stages to initiatives in the Far North, Kaipara and Whangarei, NRC’s Kaipara constituency representative, councillor Penny Smart says.
“Councillors resolved to allocate the 2018-2021 funding last year to give certainty to the organisations overseeing the projects and provide them with a platform to apply for funding from other parties.”
MAZ is the third of five projects expected to benefit from the grants over three years, with Sportsville Dargaville receiving $600,000 and Sportsville Kaikohe being paid an initial $100,000 in 2018. Kaitaia’s Te Hiku Sports Hub initiative and Whangarei’s Pohe Island Sports Hub are also scheduled to apply for large amounts of funds from the grant in the near future.
Sport Northland Spaces and Places manager Stu Middleton is also thrilled with the MAZ funding, acknowledging MAZ’s board and volunteer members who have driven the project from a community dream to a regional reality.
“It’s the last piece of the funding jigsaw for MAZ… it’s great to see facilities of this significance occurring in the districts, enhancing Northland’s growing list of international standard facilities,” he says. “Sport Northland’s core purpose is ‘enriching lives through play, active recreation and sport’ and, by working alongside organisations like MAZ, we believe we can enrich the lives of more locals in Kaipara and wider Northland areas.”
Mangawhai Activity Zone organisers have been making a big push for funds over the last 12 months to bring the project to completion. The park is now a focal point year round for locals and visitors of all ages. PHOTO/SUPPLIED
From the air Mangawhai’s skate park is an impressive sight. The quality facility can now boast one of the best bowls in the country and improved facilities when hosting major national skating events like February’s crazy popular Bowl Jam. PHOTO/SUPPLIED
“By working alongside organisations like MAZ, we believe we can enrich the lives of more locals in Kaipara and wider Northland areas.”
- Stu Middleton, Sport Northland