Stand up and be our cham­pi­ons

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place - FRANK HEALY

Bruce Ma­gan, a Mata­mata busi­ness­man, has gifted more than $750,000 to the Mata­mata com­mu­nity to build a mul­tipur­pose sta­dium, sim­i­lar to that of Mor­rinsville and Te Aroha. Mata­mata Fu­tures Trust, on be­half of the Mata­mata com­mu­nity, is sup­port­ing him to cham­pion the project and bring it to re­al­ity.

For 10 years the trust has been un­able to find a suit­able lo­ca­tion or at­tain the re­quired sup­port so we are able to put in a for­mal ap­pli­ca­tion to the coun­cil for fund­ing.

Sev­eral months ago the trust com­mis­sioned an in­de­pen­dent strate­gic as­sess­ment to as­cer­tain the need for a multi-pur­pose sta­dium in Mata­mata.

The report was pro­fes­sion­ally com­pleted by the Gi­b­lin Group. The report con­cluded that there was over­whelm­ing sup­port in the com­mu­nity for the project. The peo­ple in­ter­viewed saw that the sta­dium would meet the fu­ture needs of the Mata­mata com­mu­nity and that it would serve as a much-needed com­mu­nity hub.

With the report in hand we met with our mayor, and Sport Waikato, Mata­mata Col­lege and Mata­mata Foot­ball Club rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

The coun­cil ex­pressed dis­ap­point­ment the report did not in­clude an as­sess­ment of Headon Sta­dium.

The trust did not in­clude an as­sess­ment of Headon as it is plain to ev­ery­one that it is old and tired and no longer meets the de­mands of the com­mu­nity. The trust also con­sider a lo­ca­tion close to the CBD bet­ter serves the in­ter­est of the busi­ness com­mu­nity.

De­spite this, and the work un­der­taken by the trust, the coun­cil seems in­sis­tent on spend­ing $50,000 for a fea­si­bil­ity study on a re­newal/up­grade of Headon, and cap­i­tal ($2m) in the 2019/20 bud­get to meet the out­comes of that study.

Com­mon sense dic­tates that this money would be bet­ter used along­side Bruce Ma­gan’s do­na­tion to build a brand new fa­cil­ity for Mata­mata, like those en­joyed by the peo­ple of Toko­roa, Te Aroha and Mor­rinsville. With the coun­cil sup­port and Bruce Ma­gan’s do­na­tion, Mata­mata would have al­most $3m to start the project.

Te Aroha and Mor­rinsville have been through sim­i­lar chal­lenges in the fundrais­ing and suc­cess­ful con­struc­tion of their sta­di­ums. It is clear, how­ever, that nei­ther would have been suc­cess­ful with­out the com­mit­ment and ded­i­ca­tion of their ward coun­cil­lors.

Mata­mata is the largest com­mu­nity in our district, we have $750,000 in the bank to kick­start the project.

The money will be lost if we are un­able to get the project off the ground in the next year.

Our chal­lenge to the newly elected Mata­mata Ward coun­cil­lors is for them to com­mit to this project on be­half of the com­mu­nity. We would like one of you to take the role as coun­cil cham­pion and Mata­mata Fu­tures will wel­come you into our work­ing group.

Headon Sta­dium at Pohlen Park, Mata­mata.

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