12 Jun 2024

We Skate Pōneke.

12 Jun 2024

You may have seen it in the flesh, or heard rumblings about it on the streets of Wellington.

There are some changes going on in the big (little/medium) smoke, and the team behind We Skate Pōneke are leading the charge when it comes to skateboarding in the capital and indeed Aotearoa.

Having employed many a skateboarder over the years, we realise how vitally important this often overlooked activity is for the creative energy of a city.

Just barely scratch the surface of the culture and you instantly see a tight knit, creative and passionate community thats as inclusive as it is innovative.

Having run the We Skate Pōneke campaign on our network a little while ago, we caught up with Max for a quick chat about the project.

Hey Max, For those reading who don’t know, what is WSA and We Skate Poneke

WSA is Wellington Skateboarding Association, a group of volunteer skaters from around Wellington who work together to advocate for the skate community.

Basically, we’re a touchpoint for councils, the media and anyone who wants to find out more about skateboarding in Wellington. 

We Skate Pōneke is an initiative from Wellington City Council (WCC). A couple of years ago they ran some posters and a social media campaign with profiles of local skaters to show we’re quite a diverse and interesting bunch. This year, they’ve helped out by paying a local skater/tradie named Kyle to build some obstacles and getting permissions to have pop-up spots at a few sites around the city.

So, What’s the purpose of the campaign? 

The purpose of the campaign is all about making space for skate in the city, and celebrating the positive benefits that street skating brings to Wellington.

Personally, I’m excited that the council is down to do this kind of stuff – it’s a complete 180 from placing knobs on ledges and yelling at us to leave public space for daring to ride a skateboard, which is the way our community is used to being treated.

What’s the current state of skateboarding in Wellington?

I think the state of skateboarding is really healthy – there’s a bunch of younger skaters who are locals at ‘Mems’, as well as strong communities at the two DIY spots, as well as the old dogs at the bowl at Waitangi and the vert heads at Karori – and plenty more besides.

Skateboarding in Wellington has never been more diverse or exciting, and I’m really encouraged by the relationship we have with the council. Hopefully we get some new permanent facilities soon to reflect that, and to help foster our communities to get together more (as well as encourage new people to join) – because the current state of our skateparks is embarrassing, to say the least.

Was there a reason behind choosing Phantom Posters to showcase the campaign and is this the first time you’ve worked with Phantom? 

Phantom rules! Not only are they easy to deal with, they employ skaters. 100% down!

Is there anywhere you want to direct people to? 

Our poorly maintained Instagram https://www.instagram.com/wsa_nz/ and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/wellingtonskateboardingassociation accounts.

Are there any other exciting projects coming up? 

We have a few things coming up, pitching in with a group working to activate Pukeahu (Mems) as a proper skate spot, a few skateparks in the works, and the big goal of upgrading Waitangi Park in the city. The city needs a decent central skatepark – imagine that!

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