Earlier this week, MPs Craig Foss and Chris Tremain bravely emerged from seclusion to announce their qualified support for the “regional” sports park.

Apparently they’ve been hearing those troublesome rumours that the regional sports park isn’t really, well, regional … at least in the minds of Napier and Regional Councillors.

Said Foss: “Chris and I will assist wherever we can, on the basis there is no undue duplication, to make it a regional success.” Tremain likewise said he supported the regional park as long as it did not duplicate other sport sites such as Park Island.


How about duplicate soccer fields for starters? Soccer is now thriving at Napier’s Park Island (part of the region, when I last checked the map), with another 20 hectares available for expansion, all-weather turf, night lights, whatever. Instead of that logical enhancement, in a truly regional framework, the Kelt sports park will install eight new soccer fields in Hastings.

Perhaps Foss and Tremain haven’t yet heard Sam Kelt’s new financial Plan B, announced in his final sales pitch to the Hastings Council last Friday.

Faced with skeptical questioning about the financial and philosophical commitment of other Councils to the proposed Hastings park, Sam suggested that while their support was certainly desirable, it was not determinative. Their lack of support would not be “prohibitive,” he said.

Anticipating they might not cough up $3 million each, Sam revealed he already had an alternative financing scheme in his pocket. It vaguely entailed getting one-third from Hastings, one-third from various trusts and corporate sponsors, and one-third from central government … after the elections. That would be about $20 million from each source.

Hmmm. Hawke’s Bay sport becomes a rather significant central government priority.

Better check with John on that one, guys!


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