Four-month suspension for City Care

City Care has been suspended from its cricket contract with the Dunedin City Council for the next four months.

The council is also aware of the issues with the condition of many of the grounds around town and is working with its new contractor to find a solution.

But it declined to say what it was doing and when a solution would be reached.

Dunedin sporting surfaces have been in the spotlight this year in two codes.

At the start of the winter season, a premier football match between Roslyn-Wakari and Caversham had to be abandoned at Tonga Park due to the lines on the field not marking up with the goalposts.

Upon subsequent inspection it was discovered other grounds had incorrect markings.

Last month, the council suspended City Care from preparing pitches around the southern part of the city after they were found to be sub-standard.

On Sunday, after his side lost to Canterbury United 2-0, Southern United coach Paul O'Reilly hit out at the standard of the pitch at Sunnyvale and also at other grounds around the city.

O'Reilly said the pitch at Sunnyvale was genuinely an absolute embarrassment and disgrace and, in general, the grounds around town were shocking.

O'Reilly did not want to use the state of the pitch as an excuse for why his team lost but said playing on a poor ground was not the most motivating factor in playing for Southern United.

Dunedin City Council manager operations parks and recreation Jendi Paterson said the council was striving to reach a solution to issues with City Care.

``We will continue to work with City Care to ensure they are providing the best sporting facilities possible for the city,'' she said.

She confirmed there were financial penalties in place in the contract if City Care did not reach agreed targets but declined to say whether any penalties had been imposed on the contractor.

City Care was pulled from the preparation of cricket pitches at the end of last month, after concern had been raised over the state of the pitches, which were dangerous to bat on.

The company had been suspended from operating on the pitches by the council for four months, which would be through to the end of the 2017-18 season. Delta was now preparing the pitches.

Paterson declined to say whether the council had a date when it would cease talking with City Care over the ground issues.

City Care is just one year into a five-year contract for managing the grounds. The council split the city into two with Delta managing the northern half of the city's fields and City Care managing the southern part of the city.

A City Care spokeswoman declined to comment when contacted yesterday.



If you want to see sporting facilities that are a disgrace and not fit for purpose, head to the Logan Park Tennis Courts!! As the show piece for Otago and Southern Tennis, these have been neglected for more than a decade, with the OTA board struggling to make headway on improvements. Prior to FBS being built the DCC had agreed on a major upgrade, however, since then they have stalled and delayed any progress.
We are at a point where players both local and out of town refuse to play on some courts. Club courts are in a better state. With Masters Games, Otago Open, Snr and Jnr teams regional teams to be played early next year, some are now looking to be shifted out of town!! The upgrades to the Edgar Centre are well received but Otago needs a decent outdoor venue, not one with cracks wide enough to put a racket in, ankle high weeds or courts where players regularly slip over on.
It seems from this article the DCC need to seriously look at sporting facilities that they have input into and ensure they are up to standard, especially with the new Health and Safety regulations.
I am a local coach/ player and have a long history representing Otago in the senior team.

well said jelli, perhaps the ODT might like to share the story of what the long term 'neo-liberal' period of contracting out has actually brought to the city??

When watching coverage of cricket from a drone it was obvious that the missing link was the state of the tennis courts. With FB having received hundreds of millions and rugby, football, hockey, athletics, and cricket having received hundreds of thousands, it would seem to be the turn of tennis. Logan Park is the centre for the entire Southern region and, several times a season over 100 players and many supporting coaches, families etc converge on Dunedin. However, due to the state of the courts, events are having to be sent to venues around the region eg Timaru, Oamaru, Queenstown. This is a significant loss of income to the city, along with the embarrassment that the largest population base can't provide a suitable venue.