Wellington City Council partnered with Alex Moore Park Sport and Community Inc (AMPSCI) back in 2018, and together collaborated to build a new Sport and Community Hub Facility on the upper field at Alex Moore Park.
The project has been a long time in the making, and despite a small delay caused by COVID-19, its completion this month is timely for the winter sport season.
As a lifetime football player himself, Mayor Andy Foster knows this facility will make a big difference to the sporting community.
“This Hub will mean teams across a wide range of sporting codes will reap the benefits of having modern, accessible and high quality facilities, will encourage greater participation in activities, and will be a place to be proud of when hosting visitors to Waiora.”
The total project cost was $4.2 million, with the incorporated society contributing $2 million towards building cost and an internal fit-out. The Hub building will be owned by the Council and managed by AMPSCI, which will enter a long-term lease of the first-floor facilities over the next 33 years.
The independent chair of AMPSCI, Mike Knell, points out the uniqueness of this concept and partnership whereby five sporting groups, the Wellington Deaf Association and Wellington City Council have come together to collaborate and facilitate for a low-cost (shared) operating model.
“This is the way forward for sporting and community groups to ensure that we can get everyone participating in their code, hopefully on an equal low-cost opportunity for all in the community – it is, simply put, fantastic,” says Mike.
“It is the way of the future without doubt. Participation is more likely to grow, and more people will get active as a result. The principles of sporting and community hubs is not new, however, I believe this model and concept is.”
The Hub was gifted the name Waiora, meaning water of life, following engagement with iwi partner Ngāti Toa and the Alex Moore Park Sport and Community inc. The name is a reference to the main local stream which was used for the provision of kai and spiritual sustenance.
The redevelopment of this fit-for-purpose Hub has taken into consideration all requirements from the community, with input from locals, clubs and recreational groups, says Sports and Recreation Portfolio Lead, Councillor Simon Woolf.
“This collaborative project has been future proofed, so with a growing population particularly around youth in the area, the Hub will be a vital pulse in the heart of the community for years to come.
“Additionally, not only will the facilities be accessible to sporting groups, but there are meeting rooms and a social space to be shared, plus changing rooms, a kitchen and bar area, and storage rooms.
“The opening of Waiora marks the completion of just one of three exciting projects happening in the Northern suburbs at the moment, including the refresh to Keith Spry Pool and the Pukehuia Newlands Park Upgrade – both of which are heading towards completion by the middle of this year,” adds Councillor Woolf.