No duplication seen in hockey plans

By Lawrence Gullery


Sport authorities and promoters of the Hawke's Bay Regional Sports Park in Hastings say Napier's plans to build a similar hub at Park Island will not duplicate what's already available or in the pipeline.

Napier City Council's development plans for Park Island sports and recreation centre will include a third hockey turf while the regional sports park is one month away from deciding whether it'll build a new hockey turf at its Percival Rd site.

Sport Hawke's Bay chief executive Colin Stone said there were not enough hockey facilities to service Hastings and Central Hawke's Bay and so the priority was establishing a new turf at the regional sports park. It would not detract from, but complement, the hockey headquarters at Park Island.

The sports park trust, of which Mr Stone is also a trustee, had yet to make a decision on whether the turf at the regional park in Hastings should be an international one or a community ground.

"One of the aims of Sport Hawke's Bay is to promote the economic and social value sport brings to the region and should a tier-1 international turf in Hastings attract a multi-year international tournament, then clearly that is going to have huge economic spin-offs for Hawke's Bay."

Mr Stone said there was no tier-1 turfs in New Zealand but North Harbour was close with its plans to build one.

He said there would also be no duplication of football fields between the two sports hubs. Regional Sports Park in Hastings had eight, while Park Island was the home to Hawke's Bay United and Napier City Rovers.

"So the facility in Hastings is to service local football needs, in particular the new home of Maycenvale [football] club, moving it off Akina Park which will primarily be used for softball."

Hastings Mayor and regional sports park trustee Lawrence Yule said the plans to develop Park Island would simply expand the scope of sport being offered in Napier over 20 years.

"It is good to finally see the proposed [Park Island] plan and its final size will be the current size of our [regional park] site."

He said the regional sports park trust expected to make a final decision on its hockey development within a month.

"The real issue for the region is to develop a regionally agreed 50-year blueprint for development of such facilities in a planned, financed and smart way."

Napier Mayor Barbara Arnott said her council had seed funded a third turf at Park Island since 2007, at the request of Hockey Hawke's Bay. "It makes sense to have this regional facility at Park Island. I understand the Hastings community need a facility and the philosophy is sports facilities where community needs are, regional facilities in the appropriate area."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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