New sports hub receives top award

The Nga Puna Wai Sports Hub in Christchurch has received a top honour at the New Zealand Recreation Association awards.

The hub - which combines facilities for athletics, hockey, rugby league and tennis - won the outstanding project award.

It was judged on the criteria of innovation, community engagement, excellence, efficiency, achievement and sustainability.

The Taiora QE ll Recreation and Sport Centre also took out a merit award in the same category for the successful development or major redevelopment of a facility.

Nga Puna Wai began as a partnership project between Athletics Canterbury, Canterbury Hockey, Canterbury Rugby League, Tennis Canterbury, Sport Canterbury and the Christchurch City Council.

The venues and grounds used by these organisations were damaged by the earthquakes in 2010 and 2011 and athletes and players were having to travel outside of Christchurch for suitable facilities.

Creating a shared sporting hub was seen as the most cost-effective way to rebuild multiple facilities rather than construct them all separately.

Nga Puna Wai, which is next to Canterbury Agricultural Park in Wigram, opened in stages from late 2018 and has become the new home for the four sports, as well as providing community playing fields.

Nga Puna Wai Sports Trust chairman Paul Rogers said the partnership has led to a much better outcome than if each sports organisation which uses it had built their own facilities.

“The benefits include greater value for money, more stakeholder involvement and a greater sense of responsibility and ownership," said Mr Rogers.

“Consultation with the local community and various partners was vital and it has happened through every step of the project from initial planning to completion. The outcome is that a grassy reserve has been transformed into a $54 million international standard sports facility.”

Nga Puna Wai has already hosted the national athletics championships, which were held in Christchurch for the first time in 10 years, and the international FIH Pro League hockey series.

Julyan Falloon.
Julyan Falloon.
Sport Canterbury chief executive Julyan Falloon said the hub is a massive boost for local sport. 

“It not only meets the needs of the local community, promoting participation across sporting codes, it also benefits the Christchurch economy attracting competitors and their supporters for national and international events being held here, he said.

“On top of that, there’s wide exposure of Christchurch on television and live stream coverage of the events.”

City council recreation and sports services manager David Bailey said the award is welcome recognition of the partnership with the local sporting community to create a regional sports facility.

“Nga Puna Wai is a great example of how sporting codes, a local sports trust and a local authority can collaborate effectively,” said Mr Bailey.

 

 

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