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Northland Regional Council backs Mangawhai sports facilities

Northland Regional Council backs Mangawhai sports facilities
October 19, 2019

Skateboarders using the Mangawhai Activity Zone (MAZ) will benefit from a $500,000 installment in a series of regional sporting initiative grants from the Northland Regional Council.

The Northland Regional Council (NRC) announced more than 12 months ago the Mangawhai Activity Zone (MAZ) would be among five regional sporting initiatives expected to share close to $3.8 million over the three years from 2018 to 2021.

Northland Councillor Penny Smart, the Kaipara constituency representative, says the money is collected through a Regional Sporting Facilities Rate introduced via the Northland Regional Council’s 2018-28 Long Term Plan.

The $15 per household rate aims to assist with the development of sporting facilities of regional and district benefit throughout Northland and the previous council had last year earmarked almost $3.8 million funding to be paid out in stages to initiatives in each of Northland’s three districts, Far North, Kaipara and Whangarei.

Councillor Smart stated "Councillors resolved to allocate the 2018-2021 funding last year to give certainty to the organisations overseeing the projects and provide them with a platform to apply for funding from other parties."

About $700,000 had already been paid out last year to regional sports hubs ‘Sportsville Dargaville’ ($600,000) and ‘Sportsville Kaikohe’ (an initial $100,000) and MAZ - the third of five projects expected to benefit over three years - had received its promised $500,000 recently.

The Mangawhai Activity Zone already has facilities such as an all-weather multi-sport court, cricket/football fields, an outdoor fitness gym, an adventure playground and bike tracks.

Advising that the latest  funding will be "a major advantage for those budding Olympians to enable them to train for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics" MAZ Chair Colin Gallagher advised "MAZ sincerely appreciates the benefits of this grant, not only for the skaters but also for the community, as the MAZ Park is becoming a focal point for families, friends and visitors alike as there is a wide range of activities for all ages to participate in outdoor activities and pursuits."

Saying that the grant will help cement the Mangawhai Skate Park as one of the best in the country, with the "deepest and best-constructed" bowls in the Southern Hemisphere, Gallagher added “we’re also hugely delighted with our ability to host major NZ skating events such as The Bowl Jam held early February each year.

"Grants such as these create new opportunities for young children youths and families to be outside together enjoying pursuits as this is part of the fabric that communities need to be active together."

Sport Northland Spaces and Places Manager Stu Middleton is another thrilled with the MAZ funding, describing it as "the last piece of the funding jigsaw for the (MAZ) trust", adding “it’s great to see facilities of this significance occurring in the districts, enhancing Northland’s growing list of international standard facilities."

Middleton acknowledged the MAZ board, whose volunteer members had driven the project from a community dream to a regional reality, noting "Sport Northland’s core purpose is ‘enriching lives through play, active recreation and sport’ and, by working alongside organisations like MAZ we believe we can enrich the lives of more locals in Kaipara and wider Northland areas.”

Meanwhile, Councillor Smart says the two largest payments to be distributed via the NRC rate over 2018 to 2021 have yet to be applied for. Under the terms of the 2018 funding decision, the Te Hiku Sports Hub initiative in Kaitaia (which includes an aquatic centre with heated pool) is scheduled to apply for $1.4 million from May next year (subs: May 2020).

Last off the ranks for the 2018-2021 allocations will be the Pohe Island Sports Hub in Whangarei, due to apply for $1.18 million spread over two payments in 2021 for a comprehensive plan that includes both bike park and rugby facilities.

Related Articles

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19th March 2018 - Study shows New Zealanders appreciate the Value of Sport

29th January 2018 - Top personal trainer sends open letter to New Zealand’s Prime Minister on improving fitness levels

13th October 2015 - Sport Northland offers flexible payments options for gym membership

11th September 2015 - CLM announces Whangarei Aquatic Centre as 2015 facility of the year

19th April 2013 - North Force moves to Whangarei District Council’s Toll Stadium

27th June 2011 - Stadium, gym work set to start in Whangarei

15th May 2009 - Government commits $2.5 million for Whangarei Venue

10th October 2008 - Two Shortlisted to build Northlands Events Centre

12th August 2008 - $16 million events centre for Okara Park

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