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Council Looking At Sports Ground Improvements

Media Release

Release date: Tuesday 21 August 2012

Council Looking At Sports Ground Improvements

Sports grounds throughout the district are an important community resource. Gisborne District Council is launching a project to improve how it delivers and manages sports grounds by working with the sports codes that use them.

Sports organisations are the experts on what they need from the district’s sports grounds, says project manager Grahame Smail. “We want to understand what is important or not important to sports ground users and the wider community. We will also work with codes on what the future of their sport looks like. We will be working in collaboration with Sport Gisborne Tairāwhiti on this.”

“We know it is an area we can work smarter without adding a lot of additional cost. Although the results from our 2011 resident’s survey were good - 87% of respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with our sports grounds – feedback from sports organisations has highlighted some areas for improvements. These will be investigated further.”

“Over the coming months we will be meeting with organisations that use our sports grounds. We will introduce the project and get an understanding of how they would like to be involved.”

“The time is right to review our facilities because of community led projects like the Waikirikiri Sports Hub and Poverty Bay Hockey Associations turf development. We also have a little extra money available from the new Watson Park lease agreement with Baywatch Camping. ECT has been focusing on Gisborne’s sporting and recreational facilities most recently through a report from Global Leisure Group. Having Council’s ducks in a row may help with future funding requests.”

Thomas Edge from Sport Gisborne Tairāwhiti is happy to be involved in this process and is pleased to see Council’s commitment to working with sporting codes. “Quality sports grounds have a huge impact on the health and wellbeing of a community. To illustrate this Sport Gisborne Tairāwhiti has recently produced a video showing how many people are involved in Saturday morning sport at Council sports grounds.”

“The figures are 5773 people are using the grounds each weekend in the winter across soccer, rugby, league, hockey and netball and another 2000 using Council sports grounds each weekend in the summer for cricket. That means Council sports grounds get at least 110,000 uses each year. That figure doesn’t include coaches, whanau, spectators and all the other sporting codes that get played on Council grounds like touch, softball etc.”

Council decided this week that one of the results of the project will be to produce a Sports Parks Management Plan as required by the Reserves Act. The management plan will cover all Council owned sports grounds across the district says reserves planner De-Arne Sutherland. “It will include policy for the use and development of the parks as well as allocation of sports fields and other resources such as lighting. We will be looking for opportunities to ensure equity of resources and investment across the district and across codes. The best time for people to have input into the management plan is at the beginning. However, once the plan is drafted there will be a formal submission processes as specified by the Act.”

“The Oval, Harry Barker Reserve and Waikirikiri Reserve currently have reserve management plans prepared in the 1990’s that are due for review. It makes sense to have a multi reserve management plan to ensure a cohesive approach to management of Council parks.” ENDS


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