Construction began on 12 December 2016 on a multi-million-dollar community sports and recreation redevelopment at Clifton Park Waitara, heralding a major achievement for the groups and supporters involved. Development at the Park has been a long-held community aspiration.
Once built, the complex will provide a new gym sports facility, 3x3 basketball court, covered courts (for netball, basketball, tennis, footsall and more) and two indoor multi-purpose sport and recreation rooms for community users of all ages.
Terri Tamati of Waitara High School, says "This is a huge win for the Waitara community. There's no question about the positive impact this is going to make for young people and adults of all ages across North Taranaki. Once up and running in 2017 this place is going to be a hub of activity for the North Taranaki district. We can’t wait!".
In recent years, the project to develop Clifton Park has been driven by North Taranaki Sport and Recreation Society, working with its members, with capacity support from partners and major investment from several funders and supporters.
So far, the Society have raised $5.1m towards the capital works and have secured significant funding going forward for co-ordination of activities and ongoing operating of the facility.
Funding for the project has come from Taranaki Electricity Trust, TSB Community Trust, New Zealand Community Trust and the Lottery Grants Board, with support from NPDC, Southern Trust, businesses and community.
Maria Ramsay, Chief Executive of TSB Community Trust says the Trust is thrilled to be part of the collaborative project, which has so many community partners coming together for a common vision. Recognising the long-term potential of the project, since 2011, the Trust has not only provided capital funding but has also support towards feasibility studies, back-up capacity and administration support.
Construction will be phased in stages with stage one including the new gym sports facility upgrading of the Waitara War Memorial Hall, and upgrading of existing buildings and netball courts. Phase two will include new club rooms and changing rooms. The first stage is being undertaken by Clelands Construction with further future development to take place subject to fundraising.
Everyone involved in the project is very excited about the huge opportunities this new community asset will enable. Beyond the building phase – with the appointment of Sarah Cameron, the Society’s new Community Coordinator - North Taranaki Sport and Recreation are firmly focused on engaging the local Waitara and surrounding community - there is much to look forward to!