McLean Park's new drainage system sucks.

How good is that!

Perhaps "drains" is a better description than "sucks" - either way, on Tuesday, like much of the region, McLean Park was flooded.

Yesterday morning, it wasn't - the new drainage system carried away thousands of litres of water.


The park's surface has been dug up and replaced, as part of a massive project that started on April 9.

It followed the embarrassing February 2017 abandonment of a one-day test between New Zealand and Australia, after poor drainage on part of the ground made play unsafe.

It's not uncommon for games to be called off because of wet weather, but had it not been for the poor drainage, play could have occurred.

The Napier City Council's response was to advance plans for a complete rebuild of the oval.

In May, the park's surface was a large hole, but last week saw the halfway mark of the project and predictions it was on track for a September 2 Mitre 10 Cup rugby fixture between the Hawke's Bay Magpies and the Counties Manukau Steelers.

And then this week's storm hit, bringing flooding, and gusts of wind strong enough to topple containers off wharves, into the ocean.

It also turned McLean Park into a large pond. Sports fans and workers on the project were nervous - would the surface survive?

Thankfully, the new drainage system has survived its first big test, and along with domestic cricket and rugby, may there be more tests to come soon.

Let's hope they are of the sporting variety, and not challenges delivered by Mother Nature.