To begin, I’d like to acknowledge the following:
- Kaumatua Peter Jackson and June Jackson tēnā kōrua
- Deputy Mayor Justin Lester, Cr Paul Eagle and Cr Malcolm Sparrow
- Haydn Smith, chair of the Alex Moore Park Sport & Community Inc
- Players, supporters, referees, parents, runners and walkers,
- Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls
I am very excited to be here today as we are celebrating the Alex Moore Park redevelopment and we also have the FIFA U-20 World Cup trophy on show.
The glittering trophy was once held aloft by footballing superstars like Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi. Please have a look at the trophy, have your photo taken with it and play on the inflatables.
Also, the “Festival of Football” will be played out in our very own Civic Square from 26 May to 1 June and will be the perfect kick off to the 1 year countdown to the FIFA Under 20 World Cup.
Today we mark the redevelopment of a park Gazetted over a century ago
Initially known as the “Johnsonville Recreation Grounds”, it was first gazetted in 1906, for “the purpose of pleasure-grounds and recreation-grounds for the enjoyment of the inhabitants of the Johnsonville Town District”.
The Park was re-named in 1952, to honour Alex Moore for his years of service to Johnsonville.
Alexander Augustus Moore was born in 1882. In 1909 he as was appointed to the Wellington Cricket Association to represent the Junior Cricket Clubs. He was Chairman of the Town Board for 12 years between 1916 and 1934.
Together with his brother Frank, he established a meat carrying business and began a local cinema at Moore's Hall. He owned a palatial residence the envy of many Johnsonville residents where Countdown and the Warehouse now stand.
He was President of the Johnsonville Rugby Club from 1909-1913 and in 1919 - 1951.
For his lengthy service to the cricket club he was awarded life membership in 1951, which unfortunately he did not enjoy for any length of time as he passed away in 1952.
Alex Moore Park has been used regularly since then for a multitude of sports, such as hockey, harriers, athletics, softball, cricket, rugby and football. And, of course, by the community as a casual recreation space.
Today is also a showcase of Wellington City Council’s commitment to recreation, and especially the importance of having decent community facilities in the northern suburbs.
In recent years we’ve seen great new community facilities in Churton Park, Newlands and Tawa, and tomorrow I’ll be opening the Tawa Shared Pathway - you're all welcome at 1:30 at Grasslees Park.
I look forward to the reopening of Keith Spry Pool in February and We’ve also committed to redeveloping the Johnsonville Library, and make improvements to the roading. This is a great area of Wellington for families and people of all ages.
In the last five years, the Council has led funding for six artificial sportsfields: Nairnville Park, Te Whaea, Wakefield Park (2 fields), Wellington College and St Patrick’s College artificial sportsfields. They have been a roaring success. The days of cancelled games, especially too often the youngest teams, are a rare memory where they've been installed.
They are used by a wide range of age groups and abilities - from five year-olds to masters grades – for football, rugby union, rugby league, touch rugby, ultimate Frisbee, gaelic football and probably even more.
The Alex Moore Park project has involved scraping about 4000 cubic metres of fill from the site (most of this fill was used to re-level Raroa Park), building a new base with an extensive drainage system, installing floodlights, a new parking area (yes – it will have cycle parks) and construction of a path around the perimeter of the park. A similar path was constructed at Karori Park seven years ago and has proven extremely popular with walkers, runners and cyclists.
I wish to especially acknowledge the Charles Plimmer Bequest for their contribution of $362,000 towards the perimeter path and landscaping.
Finally, thank you to the following:
- The Council project manager – Peter Hemsley
- The Council landscape architect - Charles Gordon
- The turf supplier & head contractor – STI
- All the sub-contractors
- Harrison Grierson
- The Council Parks, Sport & Recreation Department
It’s now my great pleasure to declare the fabulously improved Alex Moore Park, open!