Hockey turf favoured for ice rink site

National hockey tournaments could be hosted in Central Otago if another hockey turf was developed in the district, the Vincent Community Board was told this week.

The board heard from a group of 18 people, the Molyneux Turf Committee, which wanted to develop a hockey turf in Alexandra.

The group responded when the board sought alternative uses for the ice rink site after the Ice Inline complex relocates next to the Molyneux Aquatic Centre.

The plan is for waste heat from the production of ice at the rink to be used to heat the pool.

Central Otago District Council property and facilities officer Tara Bates recommended the hockey proposal be the ''preferred option'' for the site, and the board agreed.

The project was estimated to cost from $900,000 to $1.3 million.

The proponents of the new turf said if it was built, to complement the existing one at Cromwell, the district would be able to host national tournaments, as at least two fields were needed within half an hour's drive.

The existing lights, fencing and building on site would be included in the project and the site was an ideal location for hockey training camps, with the pool, indoor and outdoor training areas available to use.

The Central Otago Hockey Association wrote a letter in support of the proposal.

''We believe it is vital that Central Otago Hockey Association and the hockey communities it represents continue to support the development of players and the introduction of playing surfaces and amenities that keep pace with the specifications of the modern game,'' association president Stephen Shaw said.

Board member Barrie Wills said although only one expression of interest in the site was received, it was pleasing the hockey group had come forward, and other groups might be able to use the buildings on the site.

The next stage for the committee was to do a feasibility study.

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