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Winter sports field use in East Auckland

The Howick Local Board is to consider introducing measures to increase winter sports field use in East Auckland.

Over recent years, many sports fields in the area have been closed, typically for around a third of the rugby / soccer season, due to inclement weather and many fields have not been allowed to be used for multiple games over the weekend due to fears of turf damage.

A major reason is the clay soils prevalent in East Auckland which allow water to sit on the surface.

Potential solutions include sand based drainage systems and artificial turf.

At its first business meeting on 13 December, the Board will discuss the matter of sports field upgrades and is likely to request formal (and fully costed) proposals from Auckland Council parks staff.

“Sport is an important part of the East Auckland culture” says Howick Local Board Chairman Michael Williams, “It builds fitness and leadership skills in young people and promotes wellbeing in the community.

We want to avoid the all too frequent occurrence of parents being rung up and told that the game on Saturday is cancelled.”

Sports Field Improvement is one of 12 urgent priorities identified by the incoming board.

The Howick Local Board is likely to need Auckland Council Governance Board support to increase its capital expenditure allocation so that it can fund the project. The Board currently has one of the lowest capex budgets in the region at 770,000 or $6 per resident compared with an average of $48 per resident across the region.

ENDS

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