Wakefield Park Artificial Turf

21 April 2011

This winter, Wellington rugby and football players will have two more artificial turf sportsfields ready for action at Wakefield Park at Island Bay, and there are more in the pipeline.

Contractors are working hard to complete Wakefield Park's new sportsfield

Contractors are working hard to complete Wakefield Park's new sportsfield

We're working with Wellington College to finalise a deal that's likely to see a new turf constructed in the college grounds in the coming year for community and school use.

We've also brought plans forward by a year to build a new artificial field at Alex Moore Park in Johnsonville (2013/14), and a second in the northern suburbs - either in the Tawa area or at Grenada North Park (2014/15) - and a third in 2016/17 at an as-yet-unconfirmed location.

The Council's Portfolio Leader for Sports and Events, Councillor John Morrison, says it's fantastic to see the Island Bay fields progressing, be able to advance plans for others and to see more partnership arrangements coming to fruition.

"We are well on the way to having a network of artificial sportsfields across the city that will see the numbers of people participating in sport continue to grow."

Council contractors are working hard to have the two Island Bay fields up and running by June. This will bring the number of grounds with artificial playing surfaces to six - with Nairnville Park in Khandallah, Te Whaea in Newtown and the two artificial hockey fields at the National Hockey Stadium at Mt Albert.

The new fields will help to end the winter sports blues for players and further reduce the number of cancellations. Last winter, heavy rainfall again left many sports grounds in poor condition and Nairnville Park and Te Whaea were great but hard pressed to cope with the demand, with each field being used up to 60 hours a week.

At Wakefield Park, contractors are working simultaneously on two pitches. The job has involved scraping off more than 6,000 cubic metres of topsoil, laying base course, levelling the ground, laying drainage pipes, installing a rubber-styled shock pad then rolling on the grass carpet and gluing it. The surfaces are finished off with a layer of sand and crumbled rubber from recycled tyres.

Funding from the New Zealand Community Trust, Capital Football, Island Bay United Football club and the Wellington Community Trust has helped fast-track the Wakefield Park project for this season, and we also brought forward funding from 2012/13. The project is costing a total of $3 million.

The full size IRB/FIFA-certified turf planned for Wellington College would be another partnership arrangement, with the City Council and the school each paying $660,000. Details have yet to be finalised and funding needs to be confirmed through this year's Annual Plan process, but it is envisaged the school would use the field on weekdays between 9.00am and 5.30pm. The rest of the time, it would be available for community use.