A partnership between Ngati Turangitukua and Taupō District Council will see the construction of a new sports facility at Turangitukua Park in Turangi.
The facility was planned for in Taupō District Council’s annual plan this year, with a budget of $1.7 million. A further $300,000 has been secured from a BayTrust grant that will bring the total budget to $2 million.
The project is currently going through the design of the building in consultation with land owners Ngati Turangitukua and main users of the park including representatives from rugby and equestrian clubs.
A steering group, including representatives from Ngati Turangitukua and the Turangi Tongariro Community Board has been established to oversee the project.
Chairman of Ngati Turangitukua Maori Committee, Jeff Bennett said he was pleased iwi was able to partner with the council to make the project happen.
“Our Turangi community has been without a sports facility at Turangitukua Park for generations of children growing up in our town,” he said.
“This meant our sports teams have been unable to host events and visiting teams in the manner that they would like to. We therefore see the sports facility as essential for our community and I praise Mayor David and his team for turning our hopes into reality.”
He said it was a great testament to the town’s community spirit that a joint approach to BayTrust from Ngati Turangitukua, the council, Tongariro Sports and Turangi Dambusters rugby league club obtained $300,000 of extra funding for the project.
Project sponsor, John Ridd said the council and Ngati Turangitukua were working closely to come up with a suitable design that would suit a large number of users.
“This is going to be a fantastic community asset that is shaped by the Turangi community and used by a great number of community groups and sports teams,” he said.
“Although still in the planning stages, it’s very exciting and we are looking forward to being able to show the community the ideas the group has come up with.”
He said it was hugely generous of Ngati Turangitukua, as landowners, to allow use of the reserve for public benefit.
“This will be an excellent asset the community can take pride in. We are looking forward to working with Ngati Turangitukua to get started on the build,” Mr Ridd said.
Many Turangi residents and ratepayers had long held the desire for a purpose-built sports facility at the town’s major sportsground of Turangitukua Park. Some temporary changing rooms built at the site in 2019 had been useful but were not intended to be permanent and did not satisfy all the needs of the community, he said.
“The new sports facility, once built, will be able to host visiting sports teams, provide shelter in poor weather and create a space for community groups to use, too,” Mr Ridd said.
The location of the sports facility will be easily accessible, close to the two playing fields and car parks. It is hoped construction will start in spring of this year.