Multi-use velodrome on hold

By Victoria White

6 comments
Yesterday Napier Mayor Bill Dalton announced the decision on whether to progress the proposed multi-use sporting hub would not be made by the current council. PHOTO/File
Yesterday Napier Mayor Bill Dalton announced the decision on whether to progress the proposed multi-use sporting hub would not be made by the current council. PHOTO/File

Progress on Napier City Council's proposed multi-use velodrome is on hold until after local body elections in October.

Yesterday Napier Mayor Bill Dalton announced the decision on whether to progress a proposed new sporting hub, to be housed adjacent to the Pettigrew Green Arena, would not be made by the current council.

It had been hoped the project's completed detailed business case, estimated to cost a total $500,000, would be presented to council on June 29. Instead it will be presented to the new council after its induction in November, following a review by Sport New Zealand and the project steering group.

The decision to delay was a result of "compelling and ongoing opportunities" emerging from the business case being prepared, Mr Dalton said.

A number of developments had emerged from the process, including revenue generation opportunities, and he believed the project team needed time to fully investigate and consider these.

"We're not going to rush this job," he said. "We want to do this job thoroughly."
He said the completed case should be presented to an incoming, not outgoing council, citing the local government convention that major decisions such as this should not be considered during the 90-day pre-election period.

The announcement came in the same week that Hastings District Council confirmed it had brought forward $1.75 million, in its 2018-19 long-term plan to put towards the Sir Graeme Avery initiated AUT Millennium Hawke's Bay facility, at the Hawke's Bay Regional Sports Park. Another $250,000 had been added by councillors to bring it to $2 million, and there would be public consultation next year on a further $2 million towards the facility.

Mr Dalton said there was unprecedented demand for indoor court space in the region where indoor codes could compete at all levels.

The Ramblers Cycling Club chairman Don Kennedy said while they would have liked a cycling facility "yesterday", it made sense to delay the project as long as it was not forgotten.

"It's got to be a positive thing for the business case to look at it more closely, and in more detail," he said.

He also approved of the shift in emphasis from multi-use velodrome to multi-use sporting facility as he thought it would remind people a velodrome was only part of the proposed facility, meaning it would appeal more to ratepayers.

Sport Hawke's Bay chairman Damon Harvey said he was happy for the delay, as it meant the council was not making any quick decisions. He thought the council had made a "very sound decision" which meant they could look at the project in more detail.

Napier resident Larry Dallimore, who did not support the project due to the priority given it over the Westshore Beach erosion issue, said he was rapt with the announcement. "It needs to be an election issue," he said, "I am so pleased because it looked like a done deal, like they were going to drive that through."

If it went ahead, Mr Dalton said the proposed sporting hub in Napier would complement the AUT Millennium Hawke's Bay facility, however, he said that facility had absolutely no bearing on the decision to hold the business case presentation.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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