It took six years to install the new skate park at Ray Small Park, much of that time used to stabilise the land, once part of the old Papakura dump.
But Papakura Local Board chair Brent Catchpole says since it opened last year the doubters have been proved wrong, with the facility well-used and incident free.
“There were those who worried the extended facility was going to attract all sorts of bother but something interesting has happened,” he says.
“The users tend to regulate themselves, so that it’s common to see the older kids all getting off to let the younger ones have their time, or the skaters all moving off to let scooter riders rule.
“Rather than the confrontations some predicted, we are seeing co-operation. There is a spirit of camaraderie and friendship. That is a huge plus and we are delighted the kids are looking after each other.”
The park was extended to double the old skating area and new features were added at the same time as worn areas were replaced, and drainage in the area was sorted.
A new half-court basketball court was also added, as were seating and a water fountain.
“There is no denying it was a bit of a slog, but it was certainly well worth it. It's a fantastic facility now.”
The skate park has even got rave reviews in online skating forums, where it has been described as “100 times better than the old one”, and “very cool, since Papakura has needed a new skate park since forever”.