Turf throws open its gates


The Bernie Wood Turf in As­cot Park is avail­able for the pub­lic to use dur­ing the day, in a trial an­nounced last week, by own­ers Porirua City Coun­cil.

Coun­cil parks man­ager Olivia Dovey said the trial pe­riod would last a month and the gates would be un­locked each morn­ing.

It’s come at the right time, with school hol­i­days near, so young peo­ple can go onto the grounds and play touch rugby or other games, she said.

‘‘The turf should be there for the pub­lic, es­pe­cially kids, and by lock­ing it we’re deny­ing them that.

‘‘We just want ev­ery­one to treat it well,’’ Dovey said.

The trust ad­min­is­ter­ing the turf handed it over last year af­ter not be­ing able to re­pay a $251,000 debt owed to the coun­cil.

Dovey said be­cause of the costs in­volved in tak­ing over the $1.9 mil­lion fa­cil­ity, it was the right de­ci­sion to open it up to the pub­lic.

‘‘We’ve got fin­gers crossed that peo­ple will re­spect the op­por­tu­nity,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s a fa­cil­ity that needs to be looked af­ter so you’ll need to wear the right type of footwear and not track mud onto it.

There would be a sign out the front let­ting peo­ple know the rules.

The gates would be un­locked at 8.30am and then locked at night, and po­ten­tially open longer in sum­mer.

Sports clubs that had booked the turf would still have first use of the sur­face.

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