Questions about Sport New Zealand's involvement in the Napier City Council's proposed multi-use sports facility are going unanswered, with both agencies remaining tight lipped.

Located near Taradale's Pettigrew-Green Arena, the proposed $22.9 million facility has been the subject of controversy since it was mooted two years ago.

In the latest, Sport NZ has confirmed it does not support the proposal for the facility in its current form, but is working with the council to provide more research and analysis.

The $500,000 detailed business case on the project refers to Sport NZ as a partner - alongside other agencies such as EIT, the Pettigrew Green Arena, and Cycling NZ - and it has been referred to as a "stakeholder" in other documents and reports.

Advertisement

But when Hawke's Bay Today asked Sport NZ for clarification around its role in the proposal to date, a spokesman said its involvement was limited to several matters.

He said its involvement in the proposal had been limited to facilitating - arranging and paying for - a peer review of the draft business case, and providing review notes.

"These suggested some areas for improvement and reinforced the importance of aligning with community needs, now and in the future", he said.

Its involvement also extended to attending a meeting with the council in mid-February "upon receipt of the final business case".

At this seminar the business case was shared with councillors and stakeholders, with councillors to debate it at a council meeting the following week. However the paper was withdrawn before this meeting - partially due to some councillors expressing reservations about the facility.

Napier mayor Bill Dalton has said it was also because Sport NZ, which had "largely endorsed" the project, had "second thoughts and came out with some alternatives that needed to be considered".

The Sport NZ spokesman said the organisation would not be providing any more comment, and suggested clarification of its role be sought from the council.

When Mr Dalton was contacted yesterday, he said he had "no further comment to make to Hawke's Bay Today on the multi-use facility".

Earlier this week, he said Sport NZ paid for the business case to be peer reviewed, and while "they had some minor areas when they requested us to do some further work, they were in general supportive of the project".

"Now they have come up with some alternatives which they think needed investigating, and we'll investigate them."

An urgent resource consent application for the sports facility was lodged in January to meet a March 15 deadline for applications to the New Zealand Lottery Grants Board's Significant Projects Fund.

The fund provides grants to purchase, create or improve community assets that have regional or national significance with a cost of $3m or more. The fund is not an annual allocation and it was unknown when it might be available again.