Wayne Bradshaw, Hastings Councillor: Alternative to Regional Sports Park


The Hastings District Council under the Local Government Act 2002 has an obligation to contribute to desired community outcomes and to provide for economic, social, environmental and cultural wellbeing in the present and the future.

This is the rational for the proposing and promoting of the Regional Sports Park (RSP).
This is a $57–$62 million project that has been forwarded to all ratepayers for their consultation and comment.

Stage One of the RSP, being the All Weather Athletic Track with Grandstand, has been agreed by the ratepayers and construction started. This is being done as a replacement for the Nelson Park facility.

Stages Two and Three (being Netball, Tennis Courts, Soccer Grounds, Mini Putt, Central Building and Covered Velodrome) have been promoted after consultation with interested sporting parties. These Stages (2 & 3) are what the ratepayers are now being consulted on.

This proposal is very significant for the present and future ratepayers of the Hastings District Council.

Whilst the consultation documents have touched on some of the relevant issues, it is important that more information is provided in regard to:

➢ How will the existing Sporting Facilities be impacted?
➢ How comprehensive has the Sports Consultation been?
➢ What demand exists for the new facilities?
➢ How will the RSP Commercial Approach to Sports impact the level of Useage and the traditional volunteer club culture?
➢ Can the Hastings Users afford the costs to participate?
➢ Will this User Pay Approach limit participation?
➢ Will the Percival Road site impede useage due to location & associated travel costs?
➢ Will the economic environment impact the viability of the RSP?
➢ Have future population and demographic trends been taken into account?
➢ Is an Operational Surplus a realistic expectation?
➢ What level of certainty exists in regard to the Operational Revenue & Costs as presented by the Consultants?
➢ What will be the ongoing maintenance and depreciation costs and how will these be funded?
➢ With the Council Debt having increased from $36M (30/6/06) and budgeted to be in excess of $100M @ 30/6/09, can the ratepayers afford to feel comfortable into the future?

For me personally, the RSP to date has been a project that raised more Questions than Answers.

Throughout this process has any alternative option ever been offered to and or sought from the ratepayers ?

In my research, I have been made aware of a Project just launched by the Manukau City Council called “Find Your Field of Dreams”.

This project aims to provide every young person in Manukau the opportunity to participate in an active, healthy lifestyle through sport.

This is a Long Term Community-based Initiative designed to change behaviour and culture of inactivity.

It uses …

➢ Existing Council facilities ( Parks, Pools etc.)
➢ Schools
➢ Clubs
➢ Range of Social, Church and Cultural Organisations

… in Manukau to develop a suite of Programmes. With these being rolled out in all parts of the Community, to the widest possible range of participants.

The Positives of such a Programme appear to be:

➢ Utilizes existing Facilities;
➢ Utilizes Community Resources;
➢ Programmes developed to suit Individual Community Needs;
➢ Programmes developed within the Communities;
➢ Opportunity to built leadership capability within Communities;
➢ Improve Community Participation;
➢ Increase level of Activity and Health within Communities;
➢ To be more User Friendly Cost wise;
➢ Will minimize travel time and costs; and,
➢ Enhance relationship between the Community and Council.

This may well be a Viable Alternative that could be extended across the local Community, and the Hastings District Council should consider, research and consult further about this.

It would appear that this Project or similar would meet the Council’s Obligations under the Local Government Act 2002 .

Your thoughts are sought,

Wayne Bradshaw

Join the Conversation


  1. Thank goodness for the Wayne Bradshaws of this world. At last someone who sees the “big Picture” beyond the numbers pulled out of the hat and the glamourous publicity currently being pushed in the media. I have been squeaking out these concepts in my little voice for sometime and I am delighted that someone with a big voice has started shouting. My many years of experience working with kids in sport has proven that community based facilities and programs are the right way to go and I am interested to know there are other communities out there which have applied this model.Good on you Wayne. We need to clone you.

  2. Investing in people not buildings is a sound initiative by Wayne Bradshaw. And encouraging volunteer service is essential. Steve Kenny of the Invercargil Veladrome told me they have 130 volunteers giving 37000 hours service without which their facility couldn’t operate. This scale of participation could be applied to the ‘field of dreams’ model using existing facilities for a wide range of sporting activities. There’s a wealth of sporting folk in HB who I am sure would assist youth & the aged on a volunteer basis if invited, encouraged and supported. Many folk are already involved and they are our unsung heroes. This is the way to go and I salute Wayne for his courage in not only challenging but offering positive alternative to the RSP.

  3. Yes, Well said Wayne. Well said indeed. I think that what is needed now is for the questioning (opposing ?) views on this important issue to be brought much more into the public arena and beyond the confines of the Baybuzz website. The council (and Sam ?) has large amounts of ratepayer money at it’s disposal plus an army of staff that enables them to propagandise the RSP plan way beyond the wildest dreams of those questioning it. H Bay Today is an obvious outlet for opinion but needs to go well past the trickle of letters to the Editor.
    Does anyone ‘out there’ have access to the ear of Mr. Pierard ? A series of pro/con articles would be great and would take the issues further than reporting on what was said at meetings.
    BTW, Wayne you neglect to mention that most contentious issue of the swallowing up of prime horticultural land. Without wanting to appear a conspiracy theorist, I can see a pattern to the further spread of urban development beyond the acquisition of and expenditure on Stonyhurst. The latter and surrounding orchards is just too conveniently close to the proposed RSP !
    As to the Manakau scheme – – -it appears a much more realistic option and certainly takes into account that sector of the community that NEEDS the fillip of sports activities to enhance lives. The RSP in its present form almost seems elitist in its availability to those with the means to afford the journey and the attendant fees.
    Finally, the HDC needs to get real and leave such grandiose schemes to the cities with the populations that can afford them.In HBay we have a real need of some attention to nuts and bolts – – – sewerage and sewage disposal would be a good start.

  4. Council Debt $36M (30/6/06) and projection of > $100M @ 30/6/09 …. the way this has been handled by council so far ….. and the Sam Kelt thing … it all feels like the public are easy beats and fuels conspiracy theories – as you have been calling it Baybuzz. Well done for your role here in seeking out the truth and then tactically hooking a councillor onboard here.

    In simple terms this is clearly just another case of a small town trying to be something its not … leave the expensive velodromes (the comments on this being a monority sport have been understated) to the bike shorts brigade in Auckland …

    This all smells like Splash Planet all over again. If participation is required then spend money on that not on a White elephant ..

    Does Bay Buzz have a superman uniform and Clarke Kent glasses cause on the face of it we the public do need protecting from those officials we have representing us ……

  5. Well summed up Wayne,

    couldn't agree with you more. I have the distinct impression that the process of engaging with the community has been sorely lacking, a little to late and presented as a fait accompli. This is unfortunate and unwise for Council, I am also reminded of a comment made by Mayor Yule that he "likes to take on one project of this manner every term".

    1st Term was the Pettigrew Green Arena, at the time we (Councillors) were assured by Mayor Yule that we would not need to funds running costs, after donating $1million to the project. What happened, we are now funding runing costs.

    2nd Term was the HB Opera House (a project I fully support), whilst an investment for future generations it has yet to prove itself financially.

    3rd Term is 'Lawrence's back paddock', this one has the potential to bust us. Will Napier City Council and the Regional Council contribute? I don't bloody think so.

    God forbid if Lawrence is elected for a forth term, what will it be, the relocation of the Port of Napier to Clive? The development of Te Mata Peak into Disney World New Zealand?

    Let us also not forget then Cr Yule's support for Splash Planet, or was that Smash Palace?

  6. Stonyhurst is of course the northern English Jesuit College against whom my school played football, known in those times as rugger. Dear me , have I regressed some 65 years – – – sign of the times. I meant Stoneycroft.

  7. I support Cr Wayne Bradshaws alternative proposal it will not cost ratepayers any further money in fact it maximises our district resources we already have sporting groups, youth, programmes, people, buidlings and parks and facilities. It takes collective thinking, planning and working together, what is more it will be available to every public member in every community. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know the global, local and personal pockets will be scraping the bottom of the barrel to just survive. Reality – people will struggle to put bread and butter on their tables. Now is not the time to build a RSP, maybe later, but not now!

  8. Having recently returned to live in Hawkes Bay after an absence of 14 years it appears that some things have changed but much has not. A new generation of public figures have risen up presenting themselves as community leaders with bright shiny ideas. The Regional Sports park and its promotores being a case in point. I strongly support Cr Bradshaw's views but my questions are:

    1) how much of this project is about the personal aggrandisement of the promoters wanting to see themselves as 'movers and shakers', and 2) are any of them prepared to guarantee the long term financial viability of the project?

    The answers which suggest themselves are 1) mostly and 2) 'yeah,right'.

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