Skate park on hold until spring

Work to extend Wanaka's skate park on Pembroke Park has been put back until the spring.

It had been hoped the 16-18 week project, costing $344,000, would begin last month.

Project manager Trish Wrigley told the Otago Daily Times yesterday there had been discussions with skate park designer Jason Parkes - the ''guru'' of skate parks in New Zealand - but he had other work commitments over winter.

A contract to build the skate park has not yet been signed.

Because the existing skate park will be closed for safety reasons during construction, Ms Wrigley believed the delay would mean less disruption for skaters.

''Winter is our busiest period anyway at the skate park with all the snowboarders coming down.

''It's crazy busy.''

Ms Wrigley said funding was in place to build two of the four proposed new stages and it was hoped they would be finished around Christmas.

The council is contributing $146,000, the Central Lakes Trust $140,000, the Otago Community Trust $40,000 and Wanaka Skate Club members $18,000.

Ms Wrigley is contracted by the Queenstown Lakes District Council to manage the project.

Club president Eddie Spearing has spent eight years ''pushing'' the project along.

He is disappointed by the delay but believes the project is ''finally'' at a point where it will definitely go ahead.

Stage one of the new features to be added is a clover-leaf shaped concrete bowl, Mr Spearing said.

''Personally, I wanted to drop into the new bowl before my 50th birthday.

''Well, that's well gone.''

Mr Spearing said there was ''a massive amount'' of skate park construction going on around the world.

''Jason [Parkes] has got a list of skate parks to build as long as your arm.''

mark.price@odt.co.nz