Long Term Plan and the Community Facilities Strategy

It’s important that as a sporting community, we understand the Council plan for the development and maintenance of sporting facilities in our region. At this time, there are two Council documents guiding the future of our sporting facilities, and these aren’t yet aligned – the Long Term Plan and the Community Facilities Strategy.


The Long-Term Plan sets out priorities and work programmes for the upcoming 10-year period on all things the Council is responsible for. It outlines what GDC plans to do, how it fits together and what it will cost. This plan is reviewed every three years, and the community have the opportunity to provide feedback on the draft plan which may inform decision makers on its direction. This consultation provides an important opportunity for sport and recreation organisations to make a submission to ensure that the importance of sporting facilities is reflected in Council plans.


The Community Facilities Strategy is a document which was adopted by Council in January 2018, after a long and thorough consultation process with the community sector (including sports). This document seeks to inform 30 years of upgrades to and maintenance of our sporting facilities, taking into account the trends of local sport, levels of demand and accessibility to the entire region. This plan provides a robust and streamlined approach to ensuring that Tairāwhiti has the sporting facilities that it deserves.


So, where’s the variation?

In the Long-term plan, there is no commitment to the implementation of the Community Facilities Strategy, despite its adoption by Council (due to timing issues between LTP and CFS plans). To implement the strategy would at the very least be to dedicate some resource to:

  • the creation of a position dedicated to guiding the major projects outlined in the CFS
  • the funding of feasibility studies and business cases to ensure that these projects can influence funding
  • the alignment of upgrades and maintenance of council sports facilities to match the priorities outlined in the CFS.


What’s in the Draft Long Term Plan for sport and recreation?

In the draft plan, Council have not dedicated any funding to the Community Facilities Partnership position, or the feasibility studies and business cases of major projects highlighted as priorities in the CFS. They are committing significant resource to the Olympic Pool redevelopment, but that aside the only planned spending on sporting facilities are improvements at The Oval, Heath Johnston Park, Nelson Park, Hatea-a-Rangi Domain and Waikirikiri Park. This is of concern, when this spending doesn’t match the rigorously tested community informed priorities within the CFS.


What do we want to see in the final LTP?

Our belief is that the biggest impact to the sport sector can be made by a small reallocation of Council resource, to commit funding to the Community Facilities Partnerships Position, to funding Feasibility and Business Cases, and to acknowledging the importance of the CFS within the Long Term Plan. This small input from Council will give the volunteer-driven clubs and organisations in our region the support that they need to turn their facility dreams into realities. This isn’t about ratepayers coughing up for expensive, specialist facilities, but smart spending, which will influence great changes downstream.

Speak Up for Sport!

It's time for the sporting sector to be heard

Tairāwhiti, Now’s the time to speak up for sport!

The Gisborne District Council are out for consultation with their Long-Term Plan (LTP), a document which will influence the sports facilities which we so heavily rely on to enjoy quality sport and recreation in our region. We’re not talking about ‘specialist’ facilities enjoyed by a few, but multipurpose sports hubs of high use, that we need for many of our sports to continue to operate.

Did you know that the national benchmark for indoor courts is one publicly available court for each 9,000 people? Gisborne currently has one, one quarter of that benchmark.

Have you heard that while the Gisborne Netball Centre has the highest use facility in the region, but its building is aged and not fit for purpose, and the courts desperately need resurfacing?

Did you realise that because of our lack of watercraft storage, we have $200,000 worth of waka left on the banks of our city’s rivers, weathering and subject to vandalism?

The good news is, there’s a solution that doesn’t require huge increases to rates or debt. Over the last year, GDC, ourselves and sports clubs and codes across the region have helped to create the Community Facilities Strategy, a plan intended to guide the upgrades and maintenance of sports facilities for the next 30 years. This plan highlights the need for 9 key projects, including an indoor court facility, outdoor court sports hub, watercraft hub, and more.

Although this plan was adopted by GDC, it isn’t yet being implemented or supported within the LTP. What it needs is a small re allocation of funding to support the first steps of this plan, the creation of a dedicated role to support these projects, and funding toward feasibility studies and business cases. Without GDC’s support for the plan, it is near impossible to expect our volunteer driven sports organisations to drive such mammoth projects alone.

The required resource is tiny when compared to our roads, wastewater or the new pool, but it has potential to create massive change to the opportunities available for our people, and our collective quality of life. We don’t have to accept sub-par and ageing facilities as ‘good enough’ and we don’t need to short change our tamariki of the opportunities that they could enjoy in another region.

So we urge you to make a submission to the LTP, for tomorrow’s JABs, small whites, fun ferns, small sticks and mini-ballers. It only takes a couple of minutes to tell the council how important sports and recreation are to our region, and how implementing the community facilities strategy would grow sports in leaps and bounds.

If this is something you care about, you can make a difference by doing any or all of the following:
• Share this post – as more of our community know about the issue, we have a far greater chance of being heard.
• Tag a friend, club or group that needs to read this
• Most importantly, make a submission to the LTP by heading to:

Waikirikiri Park Playground – Insights gained through community engagement

To all of those that came and provided their input to the new playground – thank you!
Because of all of your awesome feedback, we were able to create the following document, which playground designers will use as inspiration and guidance in their mahi.
The Gisborne District Council are currently receiving tenders from playground designers and builders, who will submit a range of potential designs. You’ll then have the opportunity to vote once more, to finalise what will be built this winter.
A huge mihi to Ka Pai Kaiti for the awesome event that they ran at the park, and the partnership on this journey so far!
You can read the full document below:

Waikirikiri Park Playground – Community Insights