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Bringing Tairāwhiti sports hubs to a national standard

Tuesday 21 June, 2022

A $110m business case presented to Government ministers outlines how to bring Tairāwhiti sports and recreation facilities up to the standard of the rest of the country.

The business case includes a master plan for the development of these facilities across the region.

It was presented to Government in March with the aim to secure a Crown contribution of $90m to make these projects happen.

Trust Tairāwhiti, Sport Gisborne Tairāwhiti, iwi and the Gisborne District Council worked alongside many sport, recreation, and community organisations to play a part in moving this forward. Trust Tairāwhiti has committed up to $15m towards ‘early win’ projects identified in the plan – their largest investment in history.

The first tranche of early win projects will involve an investment of up to $8m.

Trust Tairāwhiti general manager communities Audine Grace-Kutia said some of the codes had been under-resourced, despite high participation numbers.

“The early win projects align with the Trust’s wellbeing framework He Rangitapu He Tohu Ora and we are confident that funding these projects will provide impact for the most in need sections of our community.”

Sport Gisborne Tairāwhiti chief executive Stefan Pishief reinforced the significant benefits that would be brought about through the provision of these facilities.

“It’s so much more than bricks and mortar. These will be places for our community to connect, celebrate, be active and well. It’s exciting to see this initial success, and we’re determined to see the realisation of the wider plans. Working in partnership has been critical, and we also can’t commend enough the resilience and flexibility shown from our sporting community.”

Over the next six months, discussions will continue with Government agencies, along with further work with partners to implement projects that are achievable.

All the proposed projects are subject to feasibility work and design work however highlights include:

  • Buildings at ANZAC and Marina Parks for waka-ama users
  • A hub for court sports at Victoria Domain (Childers Road) for netball, squash, and tennis
  • An indoor sport and recreation hub at Waikirikiri Park in Kaiti
  • Enhanced field sports facilities and amenities at Harry Barker Reserve and Nelson Park
  • Facilities in Ruatorea and East Coast townships including small-scale indoor and outdoor venues and targeted upgrades at kura around water safety

*     The new skate park, pump track and play zones.

This month the Trust also approved $120,000 in funding to the Gisborne Boardriders Club ‘Surf for Life East Coast’ project, which will see containers being installed at Tokomaru Bay, Waipiro Bay and Wharekahika with equipment to provide surfing programmes in those communities.

Some of the ‘early win’ projects are already in motion including the skate park and the recently opened pump track.

Funding of $4m has also been agreed to ‘in principle’ for the redevelopment of Victoria Domain on Childers Road.

The new sports hub proposed for this site will require a governing body to oversee the new facilities. Applications are now open for members to sit on this governance group and will close on 29 June.

To ensure the new sports hub is successful and efficient, changes have been made to the governance and operational models previously used at Victoria Domain.

The core focus of the governing group will be to ensure the best participation rates from the community. This will mean multiple uses and making the best use of the space, every hour of every day.

It will be 100 percent community-led.

Funding will continue to be sought for the other major projects by lobbying of the business case with government officials.

Council chief executive Nedine Thatcher Swann says the business case was a “milestone moment”.

“Sport is an integral part of our Tairāwhiti way of life, yet our existing facilities are below standard and we have a growing population.

“Thanks to all the partners who have worked together to get us to this point. It has been a good model of agencies all working together to their strengths,” she says.

For more detail, the full business case is on our website.

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