Matamata-Piako District Council Mayor Jan Barnes says she is pleased to have a stake in the ground following Council’s decision to sign off Matamata Futures Trust’s site proposal for a new indoor sports complex in Matamata.
Council discussed the sport stadium at their Corporate and Operations meeting on 21 October, and decided to give Futures Trust the green light for the stadium project at the trust’s preferred site of Swap Park.
Over the last two years, Futures have been in consultation with Council regarding building a two-court stadium in Matamata.
District Mayor Jan Barnes said a number of sites were considered and the report from the working party (made up of consultancy firm Xyst, Futures Trust members and Council staff), showed most sites considered had similar weighting but the majority of the trust preferred the high profile site of Swap Park, located between Burwood Road and Firth Street Matamata.
“We had a very good discussion with the Matamata Futures Trust and took note of their recommendations and their preference,” she said. “Now we begin to take the next steps, looking at the site suitability with geotechnical engineers and the consenting process.”
Business Support Group Manager for Council, Manaia Te Wiata said, “Swap Park is a ‘greenfield site’ with no current infrastructure, meaning there is still much to do to get the project off the ground”.
“We want people to have a realistic understanding of the project and realise there is some way to go before any resource consent and building takes place.”
He said the next stage of the project is to get the site looked at by geotechnical engineers who will assess the site for placing the infrastructure needed to support a resource consent and build design.
“We do have to follow due process and we want to assure our community that we won’t compromise the existing uses of the park,” he said.
Matamata Futures Trust spokesperson, Frank Healey said the trust are looking forward to working with Council on progressing the build of the project.
“We are happy to be moving on to the next stage; we have been working on the project for a long time. We are also very pleased for our Matamata benefactor who is looking forward to progressing the project.”
Council has set aside $2m in the 2019/2020 budget with the balance to come from community fundraising, to be organised by the Trust.
The $2m is in addition to the $1.5m set aside for Headon Stadium, which will be used to address issues with the older building like condensation, storage and bringing it up to earthquake standards.
“The combination of these facilities will meet the needs of our current users, as well as attracting new groups and events to Matamata,” said Mayor Jan.