New sports fields for Kerikeri
Published on 18 May 2020
A lack of sports fields in Kerikeri can now be addressed following the Council’s purchase of land for a new sports development at Waipapa.
The 46.77-hectare rural property opposite the Waipapa retail area on State Highway 10 was one of three options considered by the Council. It was chosen because its flat contour can easily be developed into sports fields, it is close to existing sports facilities and it provides excellent vehicle access.
The purchase was finalised on 1 May at the agreed price of $4,975,000.
Far North Mayor, John Carter, says the Council identified the need for more sports fields as far back as 2012 and had already allocated funding for new facilities in the 2015-25 Long Term Plan. However, due to the growth of area since 2012, the Council decided a robust analysis of Bay of Islands’ recreational needs was required to ensure the size and scope of any future investment was justified.
In 2019, a report by consultants Global Leisure Group confirmed that demand for fields had outstripped the capacity of existing grounds and recommended at least 10 hectares of new fields be developed to accommodate the many sporting codes competing for space.
Mayor Carter says workshops have already begun with sporting codes in the Bay of Islands area to discuss the short, medium and long-term future for the new sports fields. “We are now working on how these groups will be included in the project. Feedback so far has been positive with sports codes pleased that progress is now being made to establish new fields in the area.”
He says the Council is now working on preliminary layouts for fields and changing facilities. It is also investigating options on how best to use land not immediately earmarked for the sports development.