Competition-grade pump tracks opening in Te Hiku

Published on 19 November 2021

Ahipara pump track before landscaping.jpg

The first of two competition-level pumps tracks designed by a former Kiwi BMX professional will open this weekend in Te Hiku, part of Te Hiku’s revitalisation of Kaitāia, Awanui and Ahipara.

The new Ahipara Domain pump track on Korora Street will be officially opened at 10am on Saturday. A second, slightly larger track, is also under construction at Kaitāia’s Memorial Park and is due for completion in about six weeks.

Both tracks are being constructed by Velosolutions, a Switzerland-based company that has constructed 289 pump tracks in 32 countries. Its local representative is Craig Pattle, a former BMX and mountain bike competition professional.

The tracks are part to the ongoing Te Hiku Open Spaces Revitalisation Project, which is funded by Kānoa – the Government’s Regional Economic Development & Investment Unit.

Te Hiku Ward Councillor, Felicity Foy, says it is great to see Te Hiku communities benefiting from investments in new facilities.

“Unfortunately, Te Hiku has high levels of social deprivation. That’s why it is so positive to be able to provide our communities with healthy and exciting activities like this. I look forward to seeing our young people making the most of this investment in our open spaces.” 

The projects are also providing business and employment opportunities for Te Hiku. Eight previously unemployed people have gained construction skills and experience on the pump track projects and Velosolutions has offered two workers full-time roles on the Memorial Park pump track. Local companies are also benefitting through the supply of goods and services. They include, Far North Roading, Community Business Environment Centre (CBEC), Northscape, Kaitāia Plumbing, FNR Quarries, and Onsite Access Kaitāia.

Unlike skateboard bowls and cycle tracks, pump tracks are designed for bikes, scooters and skateboards and can be ridden simply by ‘pumping’ rather than pedalling to create momentum and flow around the track. The curved surfaces are sealed with asphalt, making the tracks highly durable.

The opening of the Ahipara pump track begins at 10am with a blessing, followed by guest speakers. Two skateboards and helmets from Rip Curl Kaitāia will be given away following the opening ceremony.