I am concerned about the state of the grounds within Hutt Valley. Although we have had poor weather the last few winters the grounds seem to be poorly maintained. There appears to be little or no investment being made to provide all weather or better facilities and our children are missing out on a key part of their childhood, because sports are being cancelled more weeks than they are being played.
I also understand that Hutt grounds are now so poor that they are no longer considered for national age group tournaments in some codes. (This is a significant loss to local hospitality providers.)
What do you propose to do to fix this problem, and over what timeframe?
Will you work with Wellington Council to create more all weather surfaces in the region?
Will you support increased maintenance and investment in the current grounds?
Agree with your remarks about little or no investment being made. Council needs to sit down with sporting groups and associations to work out what new and upgraded facilities are needed.
Once we have a list of these then the sporting groups and associations concerned can apply for lottery/community grants to help assist the council to fund these developments. As these groups and organisations are voluntary, council should offer them assistance in helping them write their applications as well as kick in extra funding if it will help secure the grant. The timeframe for making improvements will depend on the funding.
Hutt City needs to work with all local authorities in the region to invest in region wide infrastructure such as all weather surfaces. The current local goverment act allows for such partnerships, but the iniative needs to be taken by one of the councils first.
I support increased maintenance and investement though in the case of the latter I favour more funds from other sources then just rates.
The council, and councillors, are aware of the problem and last year the council developed a sports grounds discussion document, \"Fields of Vision\" - see http://www.huttcity.govt.nz/Documents/projects/sportsgrounds/Hutt%20City%20Sports%20Fields%20Pricing%20Review%20Report.pdf. The document looked at all codes and how to best cater for them. Historically, sports grounds have been developed and maintained in an ad hoc way, and the policy attempts to put things on a more rational footing.
The document also addresses the issues you raise - how many artificial surfaces, in what codes, and who pays.
There has been a degree of unfairness in the funding of codes
Recent upgrades include the sports grounds beside the new Pelorus Sports House in Petone, Mitchell Park Tennis (now of regional standard), and there\'s a plan to establish a new multi-code faciliy in Fraser Park.
Part of the cancellation problem, in my view, is that grounds staff prefer to finish the season with grounds in good condition - at the expense of having them actually played on! The idea that Saturday soccer or rugby can be played in mud and rain seems to have gone by the wayside. We are not running the English Premier League here!
Regarding working with Wellington City - yes, there needs to be co-ordination between the two cities, and other cities in the region. There\'s no point in duplicating facilities.