In­vest­ment wanted for all-weather turf

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

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.

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