Sunday, April 14, 2024

Franklin board flags need to ‘catch up’ on sports facilities

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Andrew Baker said there were legacy issues involved with sports facilities and that “somehow, someway we have got to catch up”. Photo Auckland Council

By Laura Kvigstad, Auckland Council reporter
Funded by New Zealand on Air

  • Councillor and local board express the need to address gaps in sports facilities left behind by legacy council

More than $12 million of the sport and recreation facilities investment fund was approved at the Park, Arts, Community and Events Committee on September 22.

At the meeting, Franklin local board chair Andrew Baker said there were legacy issues involved with sports facilities and that “somehow, someway we have got to catch up”.

“Franklin has the largest number of dirt or earth fields in Auckland. That is a legacy issue. All we have seen in the last few months is kids not being able to play because our fields are closed whereas elsewhere in Auckland they are able to play because of the quality of the fields,” Baker said.

He said it was great to see some investment in Franklin but stressed the need for further investment in areas experiencing growth.

“As we see ourselves, huge growth in our area and across the border that we have no control over.”

“The pressure being placed on our facilities is unbelievable and we are getting more and more of these sub-regional facilities.”

Later in the meeting, Cr Josephine Bartley said the design of the fund put certain areas at a disadvantage.

“The fund goes towards areas where there are already facilities. One could argue that they are at an advantage to areas that do not have as many facilities,” Bartley said.

Sport & Recreation team lead Nick Harris said the funding allocation process considered shortfalls in the network but there was a chance to do things differently.

“There is an opportunity for us to think a little bit differently in the future around this fund, to have a more proactive approach where we identify areas of shortfall and we are going to the sector,” Harris said.

He said the fund was not currently proactive but a change in direction was something he encouraged.

The next round of funding applications open in October with allocation being decided in August next year.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Local body elections have been held since this story was written

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