Eastern Courier : November 3
5 EASTERN COURIER, NOVEMBER 3, 2010 NATIONAL PARTNERS LOCAL SUPPORTERS eDay near you Manukau City Council Carpark Access from Wiri Station Road, Manukau City Sat 6 Nov, 9am -- 3pm NZTA says get on your bike Better weather means it s time to dust off the bike to improve your health and beat the traffic. The New Zealand Transport Agency is encouraging people to ride and is offering tips. A third of vehicle trips in New Zealand are over distances of less than 5km, a distance almost anyone can man- age easily on their bike, spokesman Michael Cummins says. An Australian study in urban centres found the average speed of a cyclist was close to that of those commuting by car and in many cases faster. Biking also means free parking and environ- mental benefits. Riding 15 minutes each way to work would cover the average adult s recommended minimum of 30 minutes moderate intensity exercise each day. Go to www.bike wise.co.nz for biking tips and resources to promote cycling at work or school. Skaters on board with park safety By MATT BOWEN Caretakers: Barry Curtis Park skatepark supervisors and keen skaters, from left: Mark Finlay, Adam and Gavin Wharekawa. Photo: MATT BOWEN Vandals had it wrong when they scrawled first to tag on the Barry Curtis Park skatepark. It should have read, first tags to be erased . By 10am they were gone. Keeping the $762,000 facility spic-and-span is one of many roles for the Manukau City Council funded skatepark supervisor. The idea stemmed from the suc- cess of a similar initiative at the Otara skatepark. Cheapskates Botany Junction owner Mark Finlay won the $60,000 contract but the faces on the ground belong to keen skaters Adam and Gavin Wharekawa. They share the on-site task of supporting learners and making sure everyone knows what s okay and what isn t. Essentially we re like a lifeguard at the swimming pool, Mr Finlay says. There s a little bit of general maintenance like sweeping up litter and cleaning off any small graffiti then it s working with the kids try- ing to provide positive role models. It s also about keeping the place really safe by discouraging bully- ing, intimidation, alcohol and drug use without being security guards . They guys aren t here to put themselves in harm s way. It s more about getting the kids to police it themselves and having these guys as role models. Coaching clinics, competitions and skate demonstrations are also on their agenda in the future. The Howick resident says park use has been phenomenal since it opened on October 7. We re talking on average 60 kids after school every day. On weekends it s anywhere in the vicinity of 150 to 250 kids. The aim is for parents to happily drop off their children knowing they ll be in a safe environment. The negative stigma around skateboarding is something I ve battled with my whole life -- I want to try to help remove that. We want the park used as much, and for as many positive things, as possible.
November 5th 2010