Can­di­dates have say sports com­plex plan

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

Elec­tions hope­fuls look­ing for a seat on the Mata­mata-Pi­ako Dis­trict Coun­cil have thrown their sup­port be­hind a pro­posal to build a new sports com­plex for Mata­mata.

But the can­di­dates do not all agree on the best lo­ca­tion for the de­vel­op­ment and are cau­tious about who will pay for its on­go­ing main­te­nance.

Can­di­date Adri­enne Wil­cock, who comes from a sport­ing back­ground, said the com­plex would meet the sport­ing needs of town into the fu­ture.

‘‘As for the lo­ca­tion, I am in­clined to sit on the fence at this stage be­cause all the pro­posed sites have pros and cons.’’

Wil­cox, like the other can­di­dates, said she’d like to read the Gi­b­lin Group con­sul­ta­tion re­port on the ini­tia­tive, to un­der­stand more about the four pro­posed lo­ca­tions and po­ten­tial users.

‘‘The [Mata­mata] col­lege has been sug­gested as a po­ten­tial user but it [com­plex] would need to be sited very close to the col­lege to be fea­si­ble such as Bed­ford Park. But that ac­ces­si­bil­ity in­volves cross­ing a state high­way and a rail­way line.’’

Park­ing will be key wher­ever the sports com­plex is built. And she also won­ders what will hap­pen to Headon Sta­dium if a new sports com­plex was built.

In­cum­bent coun­cil­lor Brian Hunter said Mata­mata had a proud sport­ing his­tory and it was im­por­tant to have fa­cil­i­ties that met the de­mands of the com­mu­nity.

‘‘A sta­dium will ben­e­fit and en­cour­age cur­rent and fu­ture sports peo­ple.’’

He agreed with the Gi­b­lin Group re­port that Mata­mata Do­main, which is coun­cil-owned land, should be where the com­plex is built.

‘‘It also makes sense to cre­ate a sports hub in that the swim­ming pools and squash courts would be right next door.’’

James Sains­bury said Mata­mata Fu­ture’s lead­ing role in de­vel­op­ing the sports com­plex was a ‘‘golden op­por­tu­nity’’ to open up pub­lic con­ver­sa­tion on the ini­tiat- ive.

‘‘I want to em­pha­sise, how­ever, that the cost of build­ing a new sports sta­dium is only part of what needs to be con­sid­ered.

‘‘The run­ning costs of the fa­cil­ity will pre­sum­ably be the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the coun­cil (i.e. ratepay­ers) and so the im­pli­ca­tions of fund­ing those costs needs to be un­der­stood.’’

He said de­ci­sion mak­ing on this pro­posal needs to cou­ple con­struc­tion, with on­go­ing op­er­at­ing costs and a re­view of the ex­ist­ing sports fa­cil­i­ties cur­rently main­tained in the coun­cil port­fo­lio.

The do­main would not be his first lo­ca­tion choice to build the com­plex.

‘‘The do­main was his­tor­i­cally des­ig­nated as com­mon ground to be en­joyed by ev­ery­one and still ful­fils this role con­tribut­ing to the qual­ity of our urban de­vel­op­ment as a large, cen­tral green-space.

‘‘Once an area such as the do­main is lost to build­ing con­struc­tion, it will be very dif­fi­cult to re-cre­ate else­where.’’

Joanne Aoake said on the sur­face the ini­tia­tive looked like a ‘‘won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity’’.

‘‘Also when speak­ing with the mem­bers of the Fu­tures trust, they have put an in­cred­i­ble amount of time and ef­fort in try­ing to se­cure the sup­port of the com­mu­nity and coun­cil.

‘‘Why then the project has not had more move­ment may come down to in­fra­struc­ture and or pol­icy that de­ter­mines new en­deav­ours.’’

She thought lo­cat­ing the com­plex near Mata­mata Col­lege would be the best lo­ca­tion, sim­i­lar to the Cam­bridge velo­drome’s lo­ca­tion next to St Peter’s.

Can­di­date Kevin Tap­pin did not sub­mit his com­ments be­fore the time of print.

LAWRENCE GULLERY

Mata­mata Do­main, one of four sites be­ing con­sid­ered for a new multi-pur­pose sports com­plex.

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