Tawa foot­ballers to miss out

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

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.’’

Photo: KRIS DANDO

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.

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