Headon Stadium upgrade
Headon Sports Stadium
The sports stadium is at Pohlen Park, located between Western and Smith Streets in Matamata. The site also has a large sportsfield area, seating, playground and carpark located at the end of Western Street.
Headon Stadium history
The Headon Sports Stadium built in 1974 was made possible by the generosity of Mrs E. M. Headon who donated $17,500. Contributions were also made by the public and a $10,000 grant from the Department of Internal Affairs.
Why did we need to upgrade it?
It was only 51% compliant with NZ Earthquake Standards.
As it was, Headon Stadium had problems caused by condensation, the roof and gutter leaked and it also required asbestos removal.
Costs to provide basic maintenance to address some of the issues would cost $480,000 but wouldn't provide a long term future for the stadium and wouldn't provide any improvements to earthquake standards.
The most cost effective solution was to rebuild it as a basic structure with storage, a small lounge and toilets and changing facilities. Rather than a sport stadium, it will become a community hub, suitable for community groups and some sports, such as - but not limited to - gymnastics, indoor bowls, badminton and karate. Cricket and soccer clubs would make use the changing facilities but predominantly use Pohlen Park. This will make it 100% earthquake compliant.
For the full report on Headon Stadium, see the minutes from the 25 September Corporate and Operations Committee meeting headon stadium report.pdf
How is the upgrade being funded?
Debate over whether to refurbish or provide basic maintenance to Headon Sports Stadium has been a topic around the Council table for a number of years, with $2m included since the 2012 LTP for refurbishments. The current LTP budget was consulted on with the public, with Headon Stadium being one of the topics.
The amount was scaled back to $1.5m following further investigation into costing options, which included providing maintenance or a major refurbishment. The 2018-28 Long Term Plan allocated $1.5m towards upgrading Headon Sports Stadium on Western Street in Matamata.
At the October 2019 Corporate and Operations committee meeting, Council voted in favour of a major refurb on Headon Stadium rather than provide basic maintenance.
What is included in the upgrade?
The refurbished building is single story with a meeting room, storage rooms, kitchen facilities and provides full disability access. It includes internal and external access to toilets and change facilities.
Where is the project up to?
The facility is finished and was opened on 15 November 2021. Click here for more information on the refurbished venue.
We had expected to make Headon Stadium available to the public in 2019, however during COVID-19 lockdown when our contractors were not permitted to be on site, rain got under the floor protection sheeting and caused moisture build up.
The extent of the rain damage wasn’t apparent until the building had been complete and the floorboards began to warp. A sports floor specialist stated the floor could be dried out and saved but this would be a lengthy process. After six months of actively drying out the floorboards, there has been very little progress and Council sought options to replace the floor using construction insurance.
Council chose to remove the current floor and replace it with a high quality sports floor (tongue and groove). Read more about the decision to replace the floor at Headon Stadium. The original floor was demolished and specialised contractors have installed the new floor.
How will Headon Stadium work in with the proposed sports stadium for Matamata?
The build and operation of the proposed two-court sports stadium in Matamata will not be led by Council. It will be a community led and driven project.
Council agreed at the October 2019 Corporate and Operations meeting that Matamata could sustain two sports stadiums, meeting the needs of the many sports clubs and community groups in the area.
Council have allocated $2m towards the proposed two-court sports stadium, but the majority of the funds will be raised within the community.
The $2m grant from Council is consistent with what was given to the Te Aroha Events Centre in 2016.
With the proposed stadium still in its early planning stages it will be some time before it is built. Upgrading Headon Stadium will balance the short term solution and support a variety of users in the long term.