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GDC update on facilities strategy

Editorial

The council aims to have a Community Facilities Strategy ready by the end of September for the new government to consider a “strong proposal . . . to invest in Tairawhiti and fund the facilities we urgently need”, with the expectation that development will occur progressively over the next 10-15 years, according to a section in the CEO’s June 2020 report on council activities.

Sporting facilities partners were now “socialising” the implementation approach of the strategy at committee level. The intention was to get funding commitments from partner organisations, to initiate the implementation project.

The general approach was to develop an investment proposal for central government that attracted the funds required to support a two-phase programme. This approach would address short-term functional projects first, with phase two being a long-term aspirational project.

The next step was to develop the proposal, including the location and configuration of the facilities for phase one.

“We will be asking our sporting sector and wider community to share their knowledge and ideas over the next two to three months. Where groups already have plans and funding in place, we will be looking to integrate and accelerate these wherever possible.”

The partners in the project wanted sporting codes and the community to provide input into two key questions: What should go where? (Making sure we end up with the right facilities in the right places), and; How should the facilities work? (Making sure that each location has the right configuration to support the full range of sporting and recreational activities).

Getting these views would involve a workshop-driven process assisted by consultancy Global Leisure Group, which has provided specialist advice on sporting facilities for cities and towns across New Zealand over the past two decades.

The report said two important principles would help ensure facilities meet the needs of Tairawhiti: the Community Facilities Strategy continued to define the objectives and priorities for sporting facilities; and the resulting facilities were as flexible as possible to enable the greatest range of people, sports and recreational types to be accommodated.

The consultation process would include developing a timeline for the new facilities, as well as a plan for how existing sporting and recreational activity could be accommodated while the new developments were under way.