Multi-sports hub focused on community sport recommended for New Plymouth Raceway

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A multi-sports hub has been recommended to be established at New Plymouth Racecourse by independent experts.

Sport Taranaki commissioned Global Leisure Group and 106 Architects, which were responsible for Christchurch’s Ngā Puna Wai Sports Complex, to come up with a master plan for a sports hub in Taranaki.

A response to frustration felt by sports codes over a lack of facilities, the investigation was endorsed by the region’s three district council’s last year.

Sport Taranaki chief executive officer Michael Carr said basketball was an example of a sport that was missing out. The New Plymouth Basketball Association needs 87% more indoor court space than they can access at the three-court TSB Stadium. New Plymouth is one of only 4 regions, the others including West Coast, Gisborne, and Northland, without a six indoor court facility.

Carr, who backed the recommendation for a multi-sports hub, said a second hockey turf and more volleyball courts were also envisaged.

Sport Taranaki has been a vocal critic of the $50 million repair and upgrade of the quakeprone Yarrow Stadium, arguing it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to work towards a genuine multi-sports facility.

The Taranaki Regional Council, the stadium’s owner, is forging ahead with its plans for Taranaki and Yarrow residents have already started paying a 25-year targeted rate for the project.

Carr said if the proposed hub catered for the 16 sports groups already involved, at least 15,000 people a week could use it for practices, games, events and tournaments.

That figure didn’t include potential and recreational users, he said.

Taranaki Racing also supported the concept. The consultants will go on to work alongside stakeholders in order to draft concept plans and explore governance models and this should be completed by June 2020.

The intention is to develop a master plan for the next Draft New Plymouth District Council Long Term Plan to be released for public consultation in early 2021.