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WESTERN NEWS

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Tuesday December 5 2017

Latest Christchurch news at www.star.kiwi

Be fabulous: Encouraging kids to value community shop with us! Sizes 6-22

Halswell Residents’ Association secretary David Hawke talks about the proposed Halswell Skate Parks and what they will mean to the community About two weeks ago there was a news article on how young people in Papanui have been left out by way of recreation facilities where they can socialise on their own terms. The Halswell Residents’ Association has been pushing the same issue in Halswell for 10 years now, and it is tremendous to have the two new skate and recreation facilities at Halswell Domain and Knights Stream within sight. We are fully expecting the city council to complete both facilities well before the end of the council’s financial year in June 2018. As we think about the journey to this point, our key driver has been the need to

BENEFIT: David Hawke thinks the proposed Halswell Domain skate park, which is due to be completed in late April, will have a positive impact on the community.

value our young people within our community. We see the provision of relevant facilities as part of a bigger picture that includes citizenship and community building. As these eight to 12-year-olds grow up, we want them to value the community in which they live and to play their part in decision making. One of the awesome aspects of the Halswell skate park consultation was the active engagement of young people

in the process, to the extent that our association’s role moved to the sidelines. One of the unfortunate realities of our new Christchurch suburbia is the distance between people socially, technologically and by income. These aspects have made worse the always-present gap between young and old. The Halswell skate and recreation parks, and the consultation process so far, gives us hope

that our community can cross these gaps, becoming more trusting and less fearful. Even though people won’t agree all the time, and some will be upset. The alternative is a community, and political process, driven by low participation, lack of trust, and resentment. We see such a chain of events playing out particularly in the United States, and the consequences are dire for everyone and difficult to reverse.

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