Waipā Sports Field Lease Model Review
Where we are at
We have now completed the first round of engagement with lease holders and other sports field user groups such as regionals sports organisers, school groups and other sports clubs.
We have now proposed five options:
- Option 1 – Maintain status quo.
- Option 2 – Voluntary opt into Council management.
- Option 3 – Urban sports fields managed by Council.
- Option 4 – All sports fields managed by Council.
- Option 5 – Invest in a different way.
We are now seeking feedback from lease holders and community boards on the proposed options.
- Project kick off: Late 2022
- First round of stakeholder engagement: Dec – Jan 2023
- Feedback analysis: Feb – March 2023
- Optioneering process: April 2023
- Second round of stakeholder engagement to test options: May 2023
- Final option analysis: June 2023
- Draft report completed: July 2023
- Present recommendations to Council: September 2023
- Final report completed: November 2023
About this project
Council wants to create a high quality, future proofed sports field network that meets the needs of Waipā’s clubs and is based on Council’s sports parks, other sports clubs and event organisers wanting to use the fields, and the general public who want to undertake informal recreation.
Council will deliver a review of the current lease model for sports clubs against other alternative models, given its limited understanding of the sports field network
We will work with the lessees and other stakeholders to assess the current model and explore the best lease model to achieve the agreed outcomes to support the delivery and growth of sport and active recreation opportunities in Waipā.
Any decision to move from the status quo may take time to implement as the sports club leases currently all have different expiry dates and can only be altered earlier by way of mutual agreement.
The 2021 Parks Activity Management Plan identified the majority of sports clubs who are based on the district’s parks have the whole park within their lease agreement rather than just the assets they own, such as buildings or equipment. It’s understood to be different to the approach of the majority of other councils in New Zealand who maintain the sports fields and manage the field bookings.
The current model means that clubs are responsible for sports field development, maintenance and management. This model provides clubs with a high level of autonomy however it puts a higher than usual burden on club volunteers and prevents the fields being managed as a network with a centralised booking system.
Council is implementing a sports field enhancement programme to increase the sports field platform at some locations and/or increase the playing hours from existing platforms.
The Central Waikato Sub-Region Sports Field Supply and Demand Assessment identified an existing and growing shortage of training and playing hours in Waipā. In response to this, Council through its 2021-2031 Long Term Plan funded:
- improvements to the sports field network to increase training and playing hours, and
- a review of the sports field leases to assess whether the current leasing approach is the best model to support the delivery and growth of sport, informal recreation and events in Waipā, and wider open space network outcomes.
The project is necessary to figure out if change is needed from the current lease model. It may turn out that there is no need to change, but we can’t figure that out without talking to affected groups and assessing the lease models against agreed principles and outcomes.
Council wants to ensure that all lease holder groups have the opportunity to have their say before any changes are decided upon.
Current lease holders on our sports parks include:
- The Tom Voyle Park Sports Club Inc
- Cambridge Football Club Inc
- Hautapu Sports and Recreation Club Inc
- Cambridge Cricket Association
- Leamington Rugby Sports Club
- Park Road Sports Inc, Rosetown Rogues
- Te Awamutu Association Football Club Inc
- Kihikihi Rugby Sports Club
- Ohaupo Community Sport and Recreation Centre Trust
- Pirongia Sports and Recreation Centre Inc
Other user groups who utilise our sports parks will also be consulted with during this process.
Sports parks included in this study include:
- Tom Voyle Park
- Memorial Park
- John Kerkhof Park
- Athletic Park
- Victoria Square
- Leamington Park
- Leamington Domain
- Gwyneth Common
- Albert Park
- Castleton Park
- Anchor Park
- Sherwin Park
- Te Awamutu Stadium
- Kihikihi Domain
- Ohaupo Memorial Park
- Pirongia Sports Park
- The Kaipaki Centre
This piece of work is expected to be completed by September 2023. Any further pieces of work, if necessary, will start after this time.
Groups that will be consulted with throughout this project include: lease holders and user groups on the sports parks identified above. Lease holders will be met with in person and other user groups will be consulted with through a survey.
For this piece of work we are not talking to the wider community, just leaseholders and sports field user groups at this stage. If you are not in these groups but have concerns or suggestions you’d like to make known, please contact the project team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Through the project council will develop a new sports field network framework that includes a Mission Statement, Principles and Outcomes. The options will be assessed against the principles and outcomes.
The project will assess the costs of the various lease model options and options available to Council to keep access to sports fields affordable. This will be one of the key factors considered by Council prior to making a decision to ensure cost doesn’t become a barrier to participation in sport.
At this stage, it is too early to know the answer to this question definitively. Our initial thinking is that for some of the lease model options, a consistent approach will be required to realise the full benefits but this will be explored further through the project.