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Feedback wanted on district's sports parks

17 Apr 2014

Feedback wanted on district's sports parks

Gisborne District Council is seeking feedback on a plan to manage all the sports parks in the district.

All sporting codes should have access to the facilities they need to train and play sports, says community planning and development group manager Nedine Thatcher-Swann.

“Council looks after 30 sports parks across the Gisborne district. The draft Sports Parks Management Plan brings them all together to ensure all our sports parks are cost effective and meet community needs.”

“We have been working with Sport Gisborne Tairawhiti. The focus of the plan is to ensure a good match between the sports grounds Council provides, numbers of people participating in different codes and levels of play.”

“Council is proposing that we take a much more active approach to managing the use of our sports parks. We recognise that people are playing a wider range of sports now and some of the codes such as ki-o-rahi, waka ama, and softball are growing in numbers, but have little access to fit-for-purpose training and playing grounds.”

“To achieve this, different sporting codes may need to share spaces and facilities. Council is not proposing to increase expenditure on sports parks. We are looking at doing things smarter, while keeping the cost of using our sports parks affordable.”

“We are proposing to actively manage the booking and allocation of our sports parks and their facilities. For example, all sports codes that need to train at night should have access to floodlights. Council is proposing to manage the timetabling of the use of all sports parks with flood lights to ensure fair and equitable access. Requests will be made through Council’s online booking system.”

“Council is also proposing that the sidelines of all our sports parks will be free of alcohol, smoking and psychoactive substances. We will work with clubs and codes to make this happen and put up appropriate signage.”

All sporting organisations and sports park users are encouraged to have their say on the proposals in the draft planl. Submissions close 5pm Wednesday 18 June.

“Sports players and organisations are the experts on what they need from the district’s sports parks. We want feedback on the plan so we can understand what is important to users and how our sports parks can be improved through coordinated management.”

“Not everyone wants to play sport. We also want to hear from people who use our sports parks on a more informal basis. Surveys suggest 80% of people just want to go for a walk/bike/swim with friends. Council is aware of the facilities required to train and play competitive sport but is less aware of the needs of our community who just want to use our sports parks for recreational use.”

“This is a really good time to share your thoughts about what facilities are provided for sport and active recreation in the district, and how they should be managed. All feedback will be considered by the managers who look after the sports parks and all councillors.

“This year Council is working towards producing a new long term plan for the district. We will be looking for input from our communities. Council will consider submissions for financial support for capital projects and any other relevant feedback as part of the strategically-focused long term planning process.”

The draft Sports Park Management Plan and submission form copies are also available at the HB Williams Memorial Library, Olympic Pools, Customer Service in Fitzherbert Street or Te Puia Springs.