Heat goes on for decision to be made over location of Matamata sports complex

Heat goes on for decision to be made over location of Matamata sports complex

A sport stadium in Matamata is slowly becoming a reality, with the preferred location being the "key" factor.

In September last year, Matamata Futures Trust presented its plan for a new, two court, indoor sports complex to the Matamata-Piako District Council's Corporate and Operations Committee.

Subsequently, the council discussed the future of the proposed facility at a workshop in December and resolved to work with the trust to advance the project.

Questions linger over where the stadium will be built and when.

The trust did not consider Headon at Pohlen Park as the preferred site.

It had researched others such as Bedford Park, Swap Park and its preferred site, Matamata Domain.

But Matamata-Piako Mayor Jan Barnes said there was interest in seeing the stadium at Matamata College.

"In talking to Firth Primary, the college and intermediate which are all on the boundary and the Christian School, which is just a stone's throw away, they are very keen for it to go back to where they originally proposed off Station Road, coming off the college grounds."

She referred to the $5.5 million sport stadium in Waitomo, which is very close to sign off.

The centre, to be built on the grounds of Te Kuiti High School, is planned to meet the needs of the Waitomo, Otorohanga and Ruapehu region for the next 50 years.

"There is a format out there," she said.

She said the design was very similar to Silver Ferns Event Centre in Te Aroha.

She said location was "key" and there was need "to put it to bed as a location" or consider the Domain and any other possibilities.

Speaking at the committee meeting, Futures Trust chair Frank Healey said its independent report stated the community preferred the Domain.

But the trust just wanted to see the project go ahead - regardless of where.

"We just don't want this to continue another nine years.

"The what, when and how much is what we are wanting sorted as soon as we can.

"We just want to see it done and in a good place," he said.

The trust estimated the entire project would cost $4.5m to $5m.

The council made provision in the 2018-2028 long term plan for additional indoor court capacity, subject to public consultation.

Other money for the project would come from lotteries (about $600,000), a donation from council ($500,000), the trust's own fundraising ($1m) and a private donation made by Matamata Futures member Bruce Magan (now $850,000).

The council resolved to use the Sport and Recreation Facility Development Guide, to work with the trust for the stadium concept and details.

They would allocate $150,000 from the 2017-18 projected operation surplus to fund the work.

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