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: