Hastings Athletics Club members will be without the all-weather track at their home park for a further week with the remains of Te Matatini still evident.

The club had hoped to return to the Hawke's Bay Regional Sports Park for its Tuesday club night but the availability of the track had depended on the progress with clearing the facilities used at the festival.

This included the removal of the huge stage and its carved wooden mahau, the front piece spanning 30 metres and weighing more than 20 tonnes.

Club chairwoman Sharee Jones said tents, scaffolding and stages still lay in the middle of the park.


"There is now some access to the straights but you can't do high jump, pole vault or any throws. You may be able to do long jump but the inside is covered with gear from the festival."

Ms Jones said the club hadn't been able to use the track for competition since February 12, its Tuesday club nights having since been held on the grass track at Hastings Boys High School.

Children's athletics had been able to continue with little disruption, the major effects being on training for elite older athletes preparing for the national track and field championships in Hamilton on March 17-19.

The Hawke's Bay Gisborne track and field championships had also had to be rescheduled, and the track had been unavailable for school sports in the lead-up to the East Coast North Island secondary schools championships on March 8.

While the park trust and Te Matatini organisers did what they could to enable some training to continue during the preparation of the park for the festival, athletes were unable to train on the park in some of the disciplines such as middle-distance running, javelin and hammer throw.

Ms Jones said while the club had been told of plans for the festival to be held at the park at an early stage, it was only about six months ago that it realised the impact it would have.

"I think we probably thought we would be without the track for a week and then be back," she said.

The club is still not sure when the track will be available for full use but she is hopeful its Tuesday club night next week will be back at the park.


"It [the festival] was good for Hawke's Bay, [it] just wasn't good for athletics."