An injection of $2 million from the Hastings District Council towards the new community health and sports centre at Hawke's Bay Regional Sports Park means building on the development can get under way in October.

During this year's annual plan process the council asked the community whether it supported this investment and Hastings mayor Lawrence Yule said 18 submissions were received, with all but one supportive of the funding.

Last week's confirmation that the investment would be made meant building work could now start, subject to resource and building consents, said project leader Sir Graeme Avery.

He told councillors last week that the council contribution to the $15 million budget would ensure the project remained on schedule.


"By the time tenders need to be let, the trust is on track to have $12 million raised to cover the main building with the balance of $3 millions in place for other parts of the project," Sir Graeme said.

His submission was backed by individuals and Hawke's Bay health and fitness organisations, including Hawke's Bay District Health Board, Hawke's Bay Regional Sports Park Trust and Eastern Institute of Technology.

Once construction was completed, expected to be in early 2019 depending on construction company availability, the real work would start, he told councillors.

"That's around putting the programmes in place that will start to fulfil the aims of the project; to improve the health and lifestyles of our people."

He said 85 per cent of users would be Hawke's Bay residents, taking part in evidence-backed community health and training programmes at the facility, or through outreach programmes delivered through schools and community centres.

His vision was to provide nutrition and physical activity programmes that would change the behaviours that had led to an estimated 33 per cent of Hawke's Bay adults being obese - starting with the children.

"While the programmes will be available across the ages, all the research shows that a propensity to obesity starts young. We have to do this, to help them avoid a life of inactivity and the resulting bad health."

Mr Yule said the additional $2 million just approved would bring the total council contribution to $4 million.


"It's a wonderful initiative that's aiming to make a fundamental difference to people's lives in terms of sport, recreation and diet.

"Sir Graeme has managed to bring all the parties on board, which is what makes this project so successful."

Already Sir Graeme's Hawke's Bay Community Fitness Centre Trust was supporting programmes in the community, including sport and fitness training at the Regional Sports Park and high school programmes as far away as Wairoa.

Primary school pilot programmes will begin being rolled out from term three.