Fake grass used to green-up Mount space

Attempts have been made to further green-up the former Phoenix carpark.

Fake grass is being laid in Mount Maunganui in an attempt green-up the former Phoenix carpark.

It has been two year’s since the park was transformed into what Tauranga City Council called an “urban space”.

Earlier this week, contractors were on site installing fake grass to cover a portion of the concrete area.

A Tauranga City Council spokesperson says they are funding the artificial turf installation as a place-making initiative associated with the temporary i-Site, and to help ‘activate’ the park.

When asked how much it cost, Council says it is “expected to be less than $15k”.

To gauge what the community thinks about the area, SunLive took to the streets to find out what people thought of the new 140m2 addition to what had previously been described as a “concrete jungle”.

Parents at the space say the best part are the water fountains for their children to play in.

One Tauranga mum, who wishes to remain anonymous, says it looks unfinished but her kids are loving it.

“They’ve been skating here happily for hours and they love the fountain.”

But she says she was wondering what the artificial turf was for.

“If it was somewhere for them to sit with real grass and trees it would be good but otherwise it doesn’t really make sense.”

She says there’s not enough shade and it was thanks to the umbrellas of local businesses that they’d been able to stick around.

Tauranga resident Mary-Ann Braddock says with more shade, it has potential for food stalls and markets.

“There doesn’t seem to be a lot happening… the water fountains are good for the little kids but otherwise it’s just a big open space.”

But local skaters say the $2.5 million could have been put to better use. 

Local 14-year-old skater Caleb Paki-Campbell says the money could’ve given 10 homeless people houses.

Other local skaters say the area would have been better utilised as an outdoor swimming pool or indoor skate park, due to the lack of options in Tauranga.  

“So many people skate and there’s not really a good skate park in the whole of Tauranga.”

They say the fake grass is a waste.

“Everyone just uses this for skating and you can’t skate if there’s grass.

“It doesn’t look very good it’s just concrete. I think it would look nicer if it had some meaning.”

Mary-Ann agrees a skate park would be a great idea however says the location is not ideal.

“I don’t know if the town centre is the greatest place for that.”

The space, which Tauranga City Council officially named ‘Te Papa o Ngā Manu Porotakataka’, was opened in March 2019 as a space for year-round events and activities.

At the time, Deputy Mayor Kelvin Clout said the space will ‘create a greater sense of belonging for our community by encouraging social interaction through a shared space to rest and play’.

When asked how long the artificial turf will be there, Council says the timing will depend on feedback from the community.

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Better than nothing

Posted on 19-12-2020 15:40 | By Captain Hottie

At least the fake grass is instant. Imagine them trying to grow grass with the skaters and cyclists constantly churning up the soil, dogs crapping etc, it would be fenced off for months. And why did you interview skaters who are supposed to be banned and ironically are moaning that the turf stops them (illegally) skating?

Bob Landy off the mark there

Posted on 18-12-2020 22:16 | By grumpyme

Bob Landy, before making snide comments about an intelligent young man, you need to pay more attention to what you read. Caleb’s comment referred to the $2.5 million that the council spent turning a perfectly good car park into a concrete heat trap, not the cost of the current astro turf cover up.

SORRY, but did is MISS something??

Posted on 18-12-2020 21:52 | By The Caveman

$15,000 for some FAKE grass in what was once a NICE COMMUNITY PARK in the central Mount shopping area!! Thank ""CHR__T’ that the CLOWNS in the in the Council are about to be REPLACED !! And while the Commissioners are on the job - SORT OUT THE OTHER CLOWNS that the ratepayers pay for - the totally overpaid "council staff" that NEVER take any notice of what the RATEPAYERS want/think. !!


Posted on 18-12-2020 19:38 | By This Guy

Maybe you should check your own reading comprehension before telling others to pay attention in school? The comment about housing the homeless was clearly in relation to the $2.5 million spent on the entire project, not the $15k spent on the fake grass...


Posted on 18-12-2020 18:58 | By Told you

Now I’ve seen everything, when this revamp was first announced it was to be a green zone, they stuffed it up big time, and if they think artificial grass will solve the problem they have another think coming.


Posted on 18-12-2020 17:44 | By usandthem

How the hell do they get a price of $15,000 for a slab of artificial turf? Someone in council must have a mate in the trade.Also isin’t skateboarding supposed to be banned or is the council or cops too weak to implement it’s on bylaws?

Te Papa

Posted on 18-12-2020 16:19 | By Frostbite

Lets drop the Phoenix Te Papa o Nga Manu Porotakataka is a beautiful name.


Posted on 18-12-2020 14:35 | By Ariel

Somebody needs to pay more attention while reading .... the 14 year old was obviously referring to the cost of the park - $2.5 million.


Posted on 18-12-2020 13:40 | By Slim Shady

Well the skateboarders are just going to tear it up. They pulled out those concrete nipple thingamajigs so the grass will be a breeze. Shoulda just painted it green. Woulda been a couple hundy tops.


Posted on 18-12-2020 13:31 | By Slim Shady

The boy is thinking ahead to the day he is homeless and somebody else can give him their hard earned money. Good lad.

Tom Ranger

Posted on 18-12-2020 13:00 | By Tom Ranger

15k for something temporary and pointless....in order to address a design issue that still exists! My gawd these people need to buy a vowel and get a clue.

Oh for goodness sake!!!

Posted on 18-12-2020 12:36 | By Bruja

As soon as the weather permits, after the kids go back to school - autumn I guess, get that disgusting stuff ripped up and plant REAL GRASS and some REAL trees!!! The little fountains are good but that’s about it. Get summer/visitors over with and get REAL!!! It’s not an apartment block in Siberia, it SHOULD BE a lovely park in the middle of a beach town in NEW ZEALAND! Where do you get your employees from Brixton??? :(

Bye-Bye Skateboarders

Posted on 18-12-2020 12:18 | By Bob Landy

Finally the green space becomes a skateboard free zone. Let’s hope that it isn’t vandalised like the where the studs have been knocked out of the concrete low walls/benches. I did enjoy the ‘concerns’ that the skateboarding community expressed so intelligently. “Council says it is expected to be less than $15k”. “Local 14-year-old skater Caleb Paki-Campbell says the money could’ve given 10 homeless people houses.” Somebody needs to pay more attention during sums in school.

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