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‘Bad eggs’ ruin skate surface

An overview of the new park. PHOTOS/JADE CVETKOV

Impatient skaters have damaged the surface of Masterton’s new $1.3 million skatepark, weeks out from its official opening.

The council is assessing costs of remedying the damage if needed.

Hunter Civil, the company constructing the new skatepark issued a statement on Facebook condemning skatepark users who were jumping the worksite fences and skating on the concrete which wasn’t cured yet.

“We are putting in a huge amount of effort to get as much of this park open by Christmas, and if areas get damaged by people skating, then we simply won’t be able to open.”

Masterton District Council [MDC] was awarded $1.3 million in government money to fund the project last year.

Construction began in June.

A council spokesperson said on Monday that members of the Hunter Civil team were working long hours throughout the week to deliver the project before Christmas.

Reckless behaviours such as trespassing and skating on uncured surfaces was extremely disappointing, they said.

Masterton District Council staffers Kane Harris, left, and Corin Haines, assessing the damage at the skatepark.

MDC manager of community facilities and activities Corin Haines said the incident could possibly delay the project by a few weeks.

“People jumping the fences and skating on it just runs the risk of damaging the surface. That could delay us – we just don’t know right now,” he said.

“What we are really asking people to do is to just be patient and give us a few more weeks so we can get this open for the whole community.

“We don’t want to open the park with damage and lines through it, we want to open this park so the community can feel proud of this fantastic thing.

“The colours are going to be amazing, the surfacing is amazing, it’s got the real potential to bring people here from right across New Zealand to skate, and we’re looking forward to celebrating it with the community once we get it open.”

MDC facilities manager Kane Harris was equally disappointed about the incident, from the perspective of a council staffer and also as a skater.

This was the second time someone had jumped the fence and skated on the uncured surface, he said.

“The first time, we went out to the community and told them to please be patient.

“This time, we will do the same again.”

He knew how tempting it was to try out the new skatepark but urged people to wait until it was officially opened in a few weeks time.

“I know it’s really tempting. You saw me out there, I was salivating, I can’t wait for it to be open.

“But just a few more weeks and then it’s all ours – and we will just have a fully finished well-cured product.

“You won’t be able to do any damage once it’s got that curing.”

He said it was disappointing there were “a few individuals” who were breaking the rules and “potentially causing us delays and damage”.

“It’s just frustrating. We all want to get in here but the more people mess it up, the longer it could be.”

Masterton resident Darren Nolan, who has been skating for more than 30 years said the damage was due to “a few bad eggs that simply couldn’t wait just a few more weeks to have what would be an epic skatepark”.

“Come on guys. Respect the time, hard work, and effort that goes into the park.”

He said the opening would be “sick” and had bought a new skateboard for it.

A Masterton District Council spokesperson said three CCTV cameras were running in the area and they had an idea of who the culprits were.

“We have the power to enforce the ‘trespassers will be prosecuted’ signs, but that’s not how we want to deal with it.

“We’d rather that they love the park and want it to be the best it can be.” – NZLDR

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