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HBRC approves funding for Hastings hockey venue

Media Release

3 September 2013

HBRC approves funding for Hastings hockey venue

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council today approved the release of $2 million funding to the Regional Sports Park Trust for the construction of a new all-weather hockey facility, subject to an annual international hockey tournament being confirmed for the venue.

Sports Park Trust Chairman Lawrence Yule and CEO Jock Mackintosh presented the project proposal to Regional Councillors at the Corporate and Strategic Committee Meeting.

The project proposal was a requirement for the $2M funding that HBRC had earmarked in its Long Term Plan last year. HBRC had asked for the proposal to comply with HBRC’s Community Facilities Fund policy, and for an agreed and acceptable plan for the hockey turf facilities between Hawke’s Bay Hockey, the Artificial Surfaces Trust, the Sports Park Trust, and Napier City and Hastings District Councils.

“Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is pleased to partner with Hastings District Council and the Sports Park Trust in building this facility, assuming they can get contracts with NZ Hockey over the line,” said HBRC Chairman Fenton Wilson.

The Sports Park Trust proposal is for a tier 1 (international standard) hockey facility which would include an all-weather turf, a half turf for team warm ups, a higher level of lighting to meet television requirements, additional seating and changing rooms, a television tower and additional entertainment areas.

The Sports Park Trust is in negotiations for holding an international hockey tournament,

Their expectation is for 15,000 bed nights for visitors attending each international tournament, many from outside the region, and adding $1.3 M to the region’s GDP.

The Sports Park Trust explained to Council that local teams will also benefit as the facility will make turf access easier and more affordable for Hawke’s Bay players, and they would also use the facilities for holiday sports camps and other events.

Maori Committee Chairman Mike Mohi commented that Maori hockey had been strong in past in Hawke’s Bay with marae teams competing regularly, but the cost and access to facilities had become a deterrent. He said a Hastings venue should help improve opportunities for Maori to play hockey.

HBRC will be the largest single funder of the $3.568M project. SPT has secured $705, 000 funding from Lotteries and sponsorships. Other funding by charitable trusts, Lotteries and sponsorship is conditional on the project getting the agreement for the HBRC funding. Hastings District Council funding of $663,000 is being decided next week.

If the agreement for the international event is not successful, a local [regional] turf will be built, minus the half turf for warm-ups. Hockey Hawke’s Bay will manage the programme of regional team fixtures between the Hastings and Napier venues. Both Napier and Hastings Councils are also making arrangements for long term turf maintenance.

ENDS


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