Three of Tauranga’s main reserves - Baypark, Blake Park and Tauranga Domains – are in line for some exciting changes that could see them become world-class facilities over time.
Tauranga City Council Commission Chair Anne Tolley says high level masterplans for each of the reserves received a big tick from commissioners yesterday, on the understanding that ongoing discussions with all the organisations currently using the reserves will continue.
“It’s exciting to see how the plans all knit together to create a city-wide network for sports and recreation that both residents and visitors can enjoy, but we also appreciate the concerns of some of the potentially affected organisations who spoke at yesterday’s meeting and want to reassure them that it’s still early days, we’re on the same team, and no decisions have been made at this stage,” she says.
“From aspiring athletes to basketball development squads; Saturday morning netball teams to festival goers – there’s going to be more space for everyone and we don’t want to leave anyone behind. We can achieve so much more when we all work together and we’re 100% committed to keeping the ball rolling on this collaboration.”
Council is partnering with Sport Bay of Plenty, Bay Venues Limited and Priority One on the ambitious project and is committed to continuing to work closely with mana whenua, as well as community and sporting groups, to bring the plans to life.
Bay Venues chief executive Chad Hooker says the organisation is excited by the preliminary plans, which include transformational projects like a proposed community stadium at the Tauranga Domains and a multi-use sporting precinct at Baypark for athletics, court sports, gym and beach sports.
“These facilities will attract even more high-profile events to our city and give our communities the space they need for sport and recreation,” he says.
Nigel Tutt, CEO Priority One, agrees that the proposed changes will fuel economic activity across the city and improve our standard of living.
“Tauranga’s population has grown rapidly in the past decade. To accommodate this growth, attention is rightly being placed on our city’s transport network and housing needs, but we must also provide sufficient sport, recreation, and cultural facilities to improve living standards,” he says.
As part of the plan, it’s proposed that some sports and activities will move to different parts of the city, including:
Relocation of the Mount Playcentre and demolition of the current building (underway)
Extension of the Bay Oval Pavilion (underway)
Relocation of the Baypark Speedway pit area
Development of new outdoor netball courts at Baypark and temporary supporting facilities
Development of an athletics track at Baypark and temporary supporting facilities
Enabling work for additional grass fields at Blake Park.
Nick Chambers, Sport Bay of Plenty’s General Manager Community Sport and Recreation is thrilled to see much-needed investment in sport and recreation get the thumbs up.
“We congratulate the Commissioners and the Tauranga City Council team on their efforts to move this work forward,” he says.