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Public say planned for Ngā Puna Wai Sports Hub

Thursday 31 July 2014

Public say planned for Ngā Puna Wai Sports Hub

Residents will soon have a say on plans for a sports hub at the Ngā Puna Wai Reserve in southwest Christchurch.

Councillors today were given the findings of the master plan concept report for the proposed sports hub – which will combine facilities for a number of sporting disciplines, including an athletics track, hockey turfs, indoor and outdoor tennis courts and sports fields – on a 32-hectare area of the Ngā Puna Wai Reserve.

The need for a southwest sports hub was identified in June 2013, with many of Christchurch’s sporting facilities, such as the athletics track at QEII Park Recreation and Sports Centre, Wilding Park tennis courts and the hockey fields at Porritt Park, badly damaged in the 2011 earthquakes.

David Bailey, Acting Recreation and Sports Unit Manager at the Christchurch City Council, says this loss has been felt by the city’s sporting community, with many groups displaced.

“There’s a big appetite in the Christchurch sporting community for more facilities for training and playing, and the hub concept – which worked beautifully at QEII for almost 40 years – is the best and most efficient way of providing that.

“The Council supports the concept of a sports hub because it allows sporting codes to share facilities – car parks, changing rooms, administration, storage and support spaces – and encourages more efficient use of available green space,” Mr Bailey says. “We’ve suggested Ngā Puna Wai as the preferred spot because of its size, the high quality of the land, its proximity to the Central City, and the growing population in southwest Christchurch.”

To ensure the widest possible cross-section of the city has the chance to provide feedback on the concept and the site, Councillors directed staff to prepare to undertake a Special Consultative Procedure in about six weeks time. Staff will first report back to Council with a Statement of Proposal and an independent peer review of the site selection process that identifies any other site options not previously considered.

The planned consultation will cover the requirements of decision-making under the Local Government Act 2002, any other current statutory requirements, and the Reserves Act 1977.

“We’ve spent a lot of time engaging with Christchurch sporting bodies as well as the local community, but in the interests of totally informed decision-making around this hub, we will be extending a citywide invitation for feedback,” Mr Bailey says.

The Council has committed $6.7 million towards the development of an athletics track and will work with sporting groups to determine their share of any financial contributions to the hub. As the plan proposes to create the hub over 50 years, the development of each component can be staged as required.

For more information, please visit www.ccc.govt.nz/NgaPunaWai

- ends -

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