Fail­ing sta­dium ‘worth fixing’

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - REXINE HAWES

Re­pairs have been or­dered to fix the ‘‘dis­grace­ful’’ con­di­tion of Headon Sta­dium as com­mu­nity lead­ers look for some­one to blame for the poor state of the pub­lic build­ing.

An in­spec­tion showed the sta­dium’s roof and gut­ters leak, as­bestos needed to be re­moved, win­dows and car­pet also needed re­plac­ing.

The out­side of the build­ing needed re­paint­ing, change rooms, toi­lets and kitchen must be re­fur­bished and safety im­prove­ments were needed to score­board plat­form.

There were also a lack of dis­abled fa­cil­i­ties at the sta­dium.

De­tails of the re­port were pre­sented to the Mata­mata-Pi­ako Dis­trict Coun­cil’s cor­po­rate and oper­a­tions com­mit­tee meet­ing.

Coun­cil­lor Brian Hunter said gas heaters were bring­ing in a lot of ex­tra mois­ture into the sta­dium, as were the leaky win­dows.

‘‘In my opin­ion al­though we have de­ferred a lot of these things over the years, it’s in the con­di­tion it is be­cause of lack of main­te­nance.

‘‘It is dis­grace­ful that we as a coun­cil have al­lowed it to get to this state.

‘‘As dis­ap­pointed as I am, we need a con­sul­tant to point us in the right di­rec­tion of what to do.’’

The coun­cil has $2 mil­lion set aside to up­grade the sta­dium.

It also had $150,000 in the 2018-19 fi­nan­cial year to­wards a fea­si­bil­ity study to in­ves­ti­gate cur­rent use, fu­ture de­mand and op­tions for the build­ing.

Mata­mata Fu­tures Trust has been cam­paign­ing to build an in­door sports sta­dium in Mata­mata and will make a pre­sen­ta­tion to coun­cil this month.

But Pohlen Park, where Headon Sta­dium was lo­cated, was not the trust’s pre­ferred lo­ca­tion.

Coun­cil­lor Paul Cronin felt the sta­dium was worth fixing rather than ask­ing the com­mu­nity to wait for a new one to be built.

‘‘We would be tarred and feath­ered if we said we are not fixing this be­cause a new one is go­ing up.

‘‘I think the amount of money we are talking about in fixing it is worth the money.’’

He agreed the sta­dium’s poor state was not ac­cept­able.

‘‘There’s no point in hav­ing one of the low­est debt ra­tios per head of pop­u­la­tion if we are hav­ing this kind of stuff jump­ing up and bit­ing us on our bum.’’

Kevin Tap­pin: The sta­dium should be re­paired to a state where peo­ple can con­tinue to use it.

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