Mangawhai Activity Zone chair and trustee Colin Gallagher has launched a petition to secure funding to complete the park’s skateboarding facilities — set to be the country’s most dvanced

Petition seeks activity zone completion

by Andy Bryenton

The Mangawhai Activity Zone Charitable Trust has launched a petition, seeking public support to secure a grant of $800,000 from the Kaipara District Council’s Reserve Contribution Fund.

Mangawhai Activity Zone Chair and trustee Colin Gallagher says that after 40 months of lobbying for funds it’s time to move to the next stage.

“We are requesting funding from the RCF, which is levied on developers under the Resource Management Act (RMA). MAZ both qualifies for and deserves as we are, in fact, doing what KDC should be undertaking,” says Colin.

“It has no impact on ratepayers paying rates, and as at the date of September 30 2019, there was $6,738,000 in the fund, with no long-term plans for funding for MAZ.” The trustees note in documents accompanying their petition that contributions to the RCF in the Kaipara district have come disproportionately from Mangawhai.

The figure of $1.76 million is quoted for the year to June 30 2019 alone. Mr Gallagher and the trust say that a single, one-off grant of $800,000 will be all that’s needed to complete an Olympic-grade skate park facility at the MAZ, the only one of its kind in New Zealand, and a complement to the many recreational facilities already paid for and installed.

Kaipara District Council spokesperson Ben Hope responds: “Council undertook a review of the distribution of Reserve Contributions as part of the consultation around the Long Term Plan 2018/2028, looking for a fairer methodology, and to provide a contestable fund that the community could apply for. In May 2019, a report and attachments were approved by the council,” he says.

“The council allocated $300,000 to a contestable fund across the entire Kaipara District. The report shows how the rest of the Reserve Contributions are spent on developing and maintaining recreational facilities. KDC nominated MAZ, including the Mangawhai Skate Park, for a $500,000 grant from the Northland Regional Council Facilities Rate, which was allocated in KDC’s Long Term Plan. Since 2015, we’ve allocated approximately $300,000 through various funds and services to the wider MAZ park and facilities.”

The Reserve Contribution Fund was opened for applications in earlier in the year, and the KDC received applications totalling $1.1 million from across the district.

The initial meeting of the Awards and Grants Committee, this Wednesday, December 11 will be held to decide allocations. All applications that meet the criteria will be considered, and recipients should be notified before the end of the month.