29/07/2019 3:00:00 p.m.
29 July 2019
Whanganui District Council has adopted its new Sport and Recreation Facilities Strategy.
The strategy, developed in collaboration with Sport Whanganui, sets out the framework for future provision and funding of sport and recreation facilities in our district.
The Council’s General Property Manager, Leighton Toy, says, “The Council and Sport Whanganui have been working as a team over the past four years on a plan for the future of sport and recreation in the Whanganui District, with a particular focus on the future funding of facilities.”
The new strategy sets out the approach the Council will use when making decisions about investment in sport and recreation facilities. It is strongly aligned to the Council’s Leading Edge Strategy’s foundations of community, connectivity, environment and economy.
The Sport and Recreation Facilities Strategy identifies four goals:
- Whanganui’s sporting facilities will accommodate and attract an increasing range of local and regional events
- Council’s investment decisions will be prudent, sustainable and based on the needs of the Whanganui district
- Where practicable, facilities will be centralised around suitable hubs
- Sport and recreation facilities will be designed, maintained and utilised in a manner that enables and encourages all residents to participate in sport and recreational activities.
“Whanganui has a proud sporting history and we are fortunate to have excellent sporting facilities, catering to a wide range of clubs and codes”, says Councillor Philippa Baker-Hogan.
“As lifestyles, technology and social structures have changed, the choices we make about how to spend our leisure time have also changed. Fewer people are participating in some of our established sports, and more people are taking part in emerging sports such as waka ama or individual pursuits that are easier to fit around other responsibilities.”
Cr Baker-Hogan says there are significant costs involved in maintaining sporting facilities to high standards. “Whanganui District Council must balance these costs alongside the many other services we provide and the initiatives we elect to support for the benefit of the district as a whole.
“This means it is essential that our facilities are well utilised and that they can meet the increasingly diverse needs of our residents now and into the future. Our strategy provides a clear and well-considered framework that will guide us to achieve this.”
There were 20 submissions in total during consultation on the strategy, with eight submitters presenting in person. The strategy is available on the Whanganui District Council website: www.whanganui.govt.nz/sport-recreation-strategy