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Support sought for $2m proposal

Howard Booth Park is the location of the proposed sports hub. PHOTO/FILE


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Carterton residents will next week have the chance to give their feedback on the proposed $2 million sports hub at Howard Booth Park.

The proposal would bring rugby, football, squash, bowls, tennis, indoor netball and croquet together at the same venue, as well as a number of other facilities.

Carterton Sports and Recreation Trust spokesman, Mike Osborne, said a survey would be run over the next two or three weeks, starting on Monday.

“The idea is to give them sufficient time to collate the results of the survey, and then take that to the council.

“Then, hopefully, they will be able to make a decision on it at their October council meeting, or certainly at the November one if we can’t quite get it to the first one.”

The trust had put a proposal to Carterton District Council a couple of months ago, and that had resulted in “a bunch of questions around refining some of the costs”.

They had to look at the development and operational costs, and then put together a business case to substantiate their proposal.

“The other side of it was trying to gauge the community support,” Mr Osborne said.

“They decided the best mechanism for that was to run a survey, and we’ve been in discussion with the council about that.”

He said building the facility would be the easy part, but the initial consultations, planning and working out the optimal solution would always take time.

It was about making sure the minimum number of people got their toes trod on.

Mr Osborne said the facility would open up a host of opportunities for the Carterton region.

“Because Howard Booth Park is five minutes’ walk to the train station, Wellington teams could potentially come up on a Saturday, spend the afternoon playing and then hop on the train back to Wellington.

“But I think the main value of this facility will be for our own local community.”

The accessibility of the location to residents would provide benefits to all Carterton people, he said.

“By co-locating these sports it means we get a place where people of all ages, shapes and sizes bump into each other.

“Society has become very isolated and we don’t have as many places where everyone gets together anymore.”

There were a few factors out of the trust’s control, including whether the community would back the proposal, and what effect the proposed amalgamation of Wairarapa’s three district councils could have on the project.

It was a matter of taking it one step at a time, Mr Osborne said.

“We think it’s a great thing and are backing it 100 per cent.

“My personal view is that it will be what the events centre has been to the town – that became the cultural centre, and this will have the same effect for sport and recreation.”

It was important residents took the opportunity to have their say on the matter, he said.

“If they think it’s a bad idea they can tell us, and tell us why and what a better alternative might be.

“We need that community involvement.”


Survey available online

The survey will be online via the Carterton District Council (CDC) website and Facebook, and hardcopies will be available at council office and library on Monday.

The trust is in the process of developing a website and Facebook page to provide information about the proposed facility so the community is fully informed of what is intended.

The website can be accessed at www.cartertonhubcap.nz and on Facebook @HowardBoothParkSportsTrust.

CDC believes it should engage with Carterton residents and ratepayers to ensure that they have an understanding on whether the community supports the concept, and if so would they like council to contribute to the funding.

Chief executive Jane Davis says her councillors need to understand the Carterton community’s views about the proposed hub.

“Councillors need to make an informed decision on any financial investment and use of Howard Booth Park. “By distributing a survey we can effectively reach a wide audience and gather some feedback.”

Ms Davis says that any decision to fund the project will have to go through a wider consultation with Carterton ratepayers.

The survey is just the first part of the council’s decision making process.











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