Sand from two South Wairarapa quarries was used in the McLean Park re-turfing project, after the Napier sports ground was found to have major drainage issues. PHOTO/NAPIER CITY COUNCIL

HAYLEY GASTMEIER
hayley.gastmeier@age.co.nz

Wairarapa sand has played a major part in revamping one of the country’s international sports grounds.

Napier’s McLean Park has undergone a revamp after major issues with drainage.

As part of the re-turfing project, 8800 tonnes of sand was relocated from two quarries in South Wairarapa.

Fulton Hogan quarry manager Paul Strange said it took 303 truck and trailer loads to get the sand to Napier from the Featherston and Waiohine quarries.

He said the project required a sand-based turf, rather than a soil-based turf, as this resulted in better playing fields with superior drainage.

Westpac Stadium and the Basin Reserve use this sand type, as do other Wellington sports fields and golf courses throughout the lower North Island.

Napier City Council communications and marketing manager Craig Ogborn said the job was completed ahead of time, and well before Hawke’s Bay’s first scheduled Mitre 10 Cup game against Counties Manukau yesterday.

The sand needed to be of a particular grouping of grain sizes, so that it was free-draining and didn’t drop down into the gravel layer below.

Ogborn said 95 per cent of the South Wairarapa sand achieved the required grain size, with 5 per cent of a finer grained sand being added from another source.

Strange said processing the material over a 2mm sieve meant the work was extremely time-consuming.

McLean Park’s predominant uses are rugby and cricket at provincial, and international levels.

The new turf was grown at a specialist farm near Auckland.