Re­port shows sup­port for sports cen­tre

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place - LAWRENCE GULLERY

A com­mu­nity-coun­cil part­ner­ship could come into play to help fund and build a new sports cen­tre for Mata­mata.

An in­de­pen­dent re­port, due for pub­lic re­lease mid-Au­gust, showed there was ‘‘over­whelm­ing’’ sup­port for a new sport cen­tre but de­vel­op­ment could still be a cou­ple of years away.

Mata­mata Fu­tures chair­man Frank Healey said the group com­mis­sioned lo­cal gov­ern­ment fundrais­ing spe­cial­ist Gi­b­lin Group to com­plete the re­port.

‘‘We’ve got the re­sults back and it shows there is over­whelm­ing sup­port for what we are propos­ing but there is a process to go through be­fore we can make the re­port a pub­lic doc­u­ment.’’

That in­cludes a meet­ing with Mata­mata-Pi­ako District Coun­cil, mayor Jan Barnes, Sport Waikato rep­re­sen­ta­tives, Mata­mata College and a lo­cal football club to dis­cuss the re­sults of the re­port on Au­gust 12.

‘‘Sport Waikato and the mayor have a copy of the re­port and we are hop­ing they will think the re­sults are pos­i­tive, as we do. And I think at our meet­ing we’ll de­cide how we are go­ing to work to­gether to move the project for­ward.’’

Healey said he hoped the coun­cil will come on board with the project as a fund­ing part­ner, like it had with the Te Aroha com­mu­nity and its sports cen­tre.

‘‘We’ve seen with the Te Aroha sta­dium, the com­mu­nity there has put up a rea­son­able amount of money and coun­cil said it would match it. We would ex­pect a sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion for Mata­mata.’’

The re­port rec­om­mended a site for the pro­posed Mata­mata sports cen­tre but Healey said it could not be iden­ti­fied un­til the mayor and other part­ners had a chance to dis­cuss it.

‘‘There were about three or four po­ten­tial sites and the re­port has said that one of them was more in-favour than the other three. The sites we were look­ing at were Mata­mata College, Mata­mata Do­main, Bed­ford Park and Swap Park.’’

Healey said he had not talked with Sport Waikato about the project but Gi­b­lin Group had as part of the re­search re­port.

‘‘We know Sport Waikato give ad­vice to or­gan­i­sa­tions such as Trust Waikato.

‘‘The trust gets a lot of re­quests so it’s only log­i­cal that they go to Sport Waikato for ad­vice, to make their de­ci­sion mak­ing a lit­tle eas­ier.’’

Mata­mata Fu­tures un­der­stood plan­ning for a sports cen­tre was a long-term project. It had al­ready spent about four years speak­ing with the com­mu­nity and var­i­ous or­gan­i­sa­tions which had re­sulted in a bene­fac­tor ‘‘putting up’’ $750,000.


Mata­mata’s Bed­ford Park hosted the Ran­furly Shield chal­lenge rugby match be­tween Waikato and King Coun­try on July 30. It is one of four lo­ca­tions be­ing con­sid­ered for a plan to build a new sports cen­tre.

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