Tawa footballers to miss out
Tawa sports clubs and the Tawa Community Board chairman are disappointed the suburb is being excluded from planning for an artificial turf.
The Wellington City Council 2014/15 draft annual plan will be open for submissions next week.
One of the proposals in it is to remove $1.045 million allocated for a turf in Tawa.
Tawa College has an artificial pitch, but it is not full-sized. There are none available in the suburb for public use. The nearest one will be at Alex Moore Park, Johnsonville, once it is completed.
Tawa Community Board chairman Robert Tredger said there was a promise made three years ago, following the presentation of a petition to the council, that Tawa would be the next cab off the rank after Johnsonville.
‘‘ It’s very disappointing, especially when you look at the number of gifted sportspeople and sports clubs here.’’
Mr Tredger was not happy to hear of the suggestion that Karori could get an artificial turf, after millions of dollars had been spent upgrading that ground already.
He said it was important that Tawa clubs and residents had their say during the submission process to reverse the proposal to remove the funding.
Wellington City Council community, sport and recreation committee chairman Paul Eagle said a regionwide report was done into the placement of artificial sports fields.
‘‘It concluded that placing one in Tawa was not the best use of our money or efforts.
‘‘There is no disputing that the people of Tawa would use it, so it’s not a slight on them.
‘‘It was more that Porirua is building them up the road, so if we are to use money and be smart about it, we should put one in the western area.’’
Tawa Football Club president Mike Wood said the club was upset by the decision, especially as its home ground at Redwood Park has big drainage problems.
‘‘It smacks of political involvement. The southern area of Wel- lington has been well served with artificial surfaces at both council and college-owned facilities.
‘‘We have felt for many years that Tawa has been overlooked in the provision of suitable grounds for football.
‘‘We have 12 men’s teams and two women’s teams and only one local ground to play on [Redwood Park].
‘‘The Tawa Central League team has regularly played up to four of its nine home games away because of the state of the ground.’’
Tawa Rugby Club captain Allan Davidson said not having a turf had an adverse impact on training and the club gym was regularly packed.
Northern ward councillor and deputy mayor Justin Lester said $500,000 would likely be needed from a club or organisation to invest with the city council in a turf.
‘‘There’s a slim chance it will happen, but it does not have support from council officers,’’ he said.
‘‘There’s five pitches in the southern part of Wellington. It’s not exactly fair on the more economically challenged part of our city.’’
Fellow councillor and Tawa resident Malcolm Sparrow said it was a shame Tawa footballers had to go into Wellington to play on an artificial turf.
‘‘Geographically, there is an imbalance.’’
Turf, please: Wellington City councillor Malcolm Sparrow, left, and Tawa Community Board chairman Robert Tredger, at Redwood Park. Mr Tredger will be asking many in the community if they want an artificial turf in the suburb.