$6m indoor bowls centre opens in Hutt
Wellington has a new ‘‘world class’’ regional bowls centre.
The $6.25 million facility in Lower Hutt, the new home to the Naenae Bowls Club and boasting three traditional outdoor greens and one covered artificial green, was opened on Friday.
Club president Ross Thorn had been looking forward to the opening of the facility for some time and was rapt with how it had turned out.
‘‘It’s outstanding. This is as good as it gets.
‘‘By any standard, this is a world-class facility. The indoor arena fundamentally changes our sport as it enables play all-yearround, in any weather. This is great for casual bowlers and professional bowlers alike.’’
Thorn said the centre would be an attractive venue to host tournaments.
‘‘It’s a great asset, not just for Naenae, but for the greater Wellington region.’’
Though some work still had to be done on the gutters of the covered green, it was expected to be ready for the New Zealand Professional Bowls Association finals this weekend.
The complex also houses a cafe and bar, and the multipurpose clubrooms will not only be used by the Naenae Bowls Club which has merged with the Park Avenue Bowls Club, but the Returned and Services Association, petanque and darts clubs.
Funding had been met by the Hutt City Council and the fundraising efforts of the Hutt City Community Facilities Trust - contributing $4.25m and $2m respectively.
Mayor Ray Wallace cut the ribbon to open the centre and said it was ‘‘one more jewel in the crown’’ of the North Eastern suburbs’ portfolio of sporting and leisure facilities.
The park was part of a broader recreational centre in Naenae which included Naenae Pool, Badminton Hutt Valley, meeting rooms andrevamped tennis and petanque courts.
‘‘It is also important to view this facility in conjunction with the Walter Nash Centre, the Fraser Park Sports and Community Hub and the new Town Hall and Events Centre.’’
‘‘We are building a powerful narrative of a rejuvenating city, one that has the facilities to host regional and national events and tournaments.’’‘‘
Community Facilities Trust chair Kirsten Patterson and Naenae Bowls Club president Ross Thorn under the roof of the covered green at the new Regional Bowls Centre.