Sport — or more accurately sitting watching it — is bringing people together in Te Puke.

Eight months ago, Te Puke Sports and Recreation Club celebrated the arrival of more than 350 seats from Christchurch's Lancaster Park at the Port of Tauranga.

The seats are to be used to build a new grandstand at Murray Salt Stadium, and tomorrow night the grandstand design will be revealed at an event at the club.

Long-time administrator Deborah Keenleyside will also be presented with life membership.


Grandstand project co-ordinator Rick Hannay says each of the seats has been "sold" and sponsorship has "got the ball rolling".

"Now we are at the point where we are about to apply for some grants."

Hannay says tomorrow night's event is a way of bringing the community together, acknowledging contributions already made and revealing the next steps.

The club's grounds are used extensively by the community, and the grandstand will add an extra element to this community use.

It was a complicated logistical exercise to get the seats to the Western Bay and all those who helped have been invited.

Hannay says the seats will be a huge improvement on those currently used by supporters.

"The seats from Lancaster Park were not cheap seats when they were first put in by Christchurch City Council. We looked at seats very, very carefully before we purchased them and there was nothing that even got near the comfort and manufacturing of those Lancaster Park seats."

The night will also feature an auction of two limited edition prints donated by Paul Robilliard, a descendant of Alan Robilliard, a member of the 1924 Invincibles All Blacks tourists.

The prints feature photographs and signatures of the Inaugural XV Hall of Fame members from December 1997 and the 1999 Hall of Fame inductees. There were only 100 of each produced.

"Paul heard about our cause and came forward and donated these two sought-after prints," Hannay says.

Letts Construction will build the grandstand and Stratum Consultants will carry out the engineering and geotechnical work.

With one round of games to go, Te Puke Sports have an unassailable lead at the top of the Baywide Premier 1 standings. Te Puke dismantled Rotoiti 64-21 last Saturday. The Pirates' final round robin game is against Greerton Marist at Murray Salt Stadium on Saturday, with a home semifinal assured the following weekend. Te Puke's development team also beat Rotoiti, 74-0 on Saturday to hold on to second place in their competition.
Rangiuru's quest to finish in the top four of the Premier 2 competition comes down to the final game of the round when Waikite are the visitors to Centennial Park on Saturday. Rangiuru beat Whakatane Marist 62-19 last Saturday.
A top four finish will see Rangiuru play in the Baywide Premiership in the first phase of next season's competition. At both grounds, the development games will kick off at 1pm with the premiers at 2.45pm.