Council Agrees to Sports Centre Review

5 March 2009

Wellington's proposed Indoor Community Sports Centre will be the subject of a wide-ranging and independent review by respected business and sporting community leader Sir John Anderson.

The decision to undertake a review was agreed by an extraordinary meeting of Wellington City Council today.

The review was offered by Mayor Kerry Prendergast to Councillor Andy Foster after he appealed to the Environment Court against the resource consent granted to the centre at Cobham Park, Kilbirnie, in January.

The review will assess and make recommendations to the Council on the proposal to build a 12 court indoor community sport centre, and examine all matters relevant to this issue relating to Cobham Drive Park and the Westpac Stadium Concourse site.

Sir John will manage and take responsibility for the review, supported by advice and information from a series of independent experts. He believes it will take 4 - 6 weeks and intends to report to the Council by 21 April. He is working pro bono to ensure complete independence. The direct cost of the review will be around $150,000.

The Council has agreed to abide by the review recommendations. Cr Foster has stated he will withdraw from the appeal before the report-back of the review and will abide by the review recommendations.

Mayor Prendergast says she is pleased the Council unanimously agreed to the review. "With the inevitable delays and huge costs associated with defending the Environment Court appeal, I think it's important that we try to expedite a resolution.

"I also think it's important because the people of Wellington have become confused with the different opinions being reported in the media, the misinformation out there, and the time delay from when we first consulted in 2006.

"The review will hopefully put the issue to bed once and for all and give Councillors and the public confidence that we are doing the right thing on the right site."

Sir John will write to the other appellant to the Environment Court, offering him the opportunity to meet to determine whether his concerns could be addressed within the scope of the review.