Manukau Whitewater Park amongst the world's best

By Numia Ponika-Rangi

Yesterday Prime Minister John Key unveiled a plaque signalling the official opening of the new Vector Wero Whitewater Park in Manukau.

There are 48 ceremonial posts dotted along the banks of the waterways, to help protect all the paddlers who will use this new white-water facility.

Waikato Tainui kaumatua Ted Ngataki says, “They're there to watch over those who are on the water, to help guide them along the waterways, and to give our children and everyone else who use this facility a sense of safety.”

Yesterday, Prime Minister John Key arrived alone to officially open the park. Although King Tuheitia was scheduled to assist, illness kept him away.

According to the CEO of the Second Nature Charitable Trust, Richard Jeffery, this park is beyond world standards.

"This is the new benchmark for the best in the world, and that's been told to us by people from all over Europe, from the United States, we've had a lot of people down here already looking at how do you build one of these because this is the best now."

As part of the consultation process, our children will not be left high and dry. Every school in South Auckland is included in all water activities at no cost.

Jeffery says "The smaller river is called our tamariki river and that's for all our youth education programmes, so we're going to be getting up to 15,000 of our tamariki through the course every year, and that's a commitment we've made."

The benefits to the community from such a venture will be surely become evident in the following months and years.