Report shows support for sports centre
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.