Clubs' usage of facility on shaky ground

By Corey Charlton

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Napier City Council's long-term vision for Taradale Park includes Greendale Tennis Club remaining in its current location - but the future of the football and cricket clubs is not so secure.

The two clubs and Napier Harrier Club use the park as their home ground throughout their respective sporting seasons and they could be relocated elsewhere if deemed an impediment to Napier City Council's plans for a "freely accessible area of open space".

The tennis club's future was secured about two weeks ago when the City Services Committee rescinded a previous resolution for a shorter lease. The club's lease is now for 10 years with two rights of renewal.

Neither Taradale Association Football Club nor Taradale Cricket Club usage is subject to a lease but a council report says it will operate on a "no surprises" policy if changes to the park are made.

Napier City Council sports facilities manager Andrew White said park use would continue "as is" in the foreseeable future, but a recent officer's report stated Taradale Association Football Club had been formally advised the park would not be available for its long-term use.

Napier Mayor Barbara Arnott said in future the Taradale area might include commercial and retail businesses and the council wanted to open it up more to the general public, but the football club's future could be elsewhere as there was not enough room.

"The football club don't want to go anywhere away from Taradale just like the tennis club didn't want to ... I understand that," she said.

"We haven't talked about the football club in detail but really the park is just getting too small for them."

She said it was easier to shift grass-based sports than tennis.

Taradale Association Football Club president Jamie Hall said the club had spoken to the council, which indicated it was looking to move sports off the park.

Taradale Cricket Club chairman Marty Graham said: "We've been here for over 125 years. Our clubrooms are there, training facilities are there. It just seems a shame to move - it's in the middle of our community."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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