Investment wanted for all-weather turf
Community or private investment may be sought to build an artificial sports turf in Tawa or Grenada North.
Wellington City Council is developing its draft 10-year plan, which will go out for public consultation in mid- April. While a $ 1.45 million budget was confirmed last year to build an artificial turf in the city’s northern suburbs in the 2014/ 15 financial year, this may be delayed unless up to $400,000 in contributions can be secured for the project.
City councillor Justin Lester, who has been a strong advocate for a turf based in Tawa/grenada North, said there were well-publicised financial pressures at stake for the council.
‘‘We had the option to push it back or even take it out but a turf for Tawa is still in there [the plan]. All the councillors unanimously voted to keep it where it was [2014/15] but make this a joint partnership project.’’
Public feedback was crucial, he said. At this stage the most popular site is Tawa College but Grenada North Park is still a consideration. The latter is likely to suit Tawa AFC more.
‘‘The council is looking to cut costs, that’s widely known. But we need support for an artificial ground in Tawa, so hopefully people will have their say and it can get built.’’
Mr Lester is also a member of Capital Football’s board and he is well aware of the ‘‘ absolute frustrations’’ faced during the winter months, with football and other codes enduring cancellations and missed training sessions due to water-logged and muddy grounds. More than 500 games are postponed every winter due to the state of grass fields.
Margaret Lucas and fellow Tawa Community Board members, along with Tawa College students, presented a petition last April with more than 2200 signatures gathered in hard copy and online to the council, imploring it to build a turf in their suburb.
Wellington has two other artificial pitches at Wakefield Park and Te Whaea, with Alex Moore Park in Johnsonville next cab off the rank.