Rainy Weather Puts City Sportsfields Under Pressure

7 July 2010

Wet weather is playing havoc with Wellington's waterlogged sportsfields, forcing the midweek closure of some grounds and restricting weekend use.

The situation is affecting all the winter sports that use the fields and a number of games have had to be cancelled over the last two to three weeks.

Wellington City Council Parks and Gardens Manager Paul Andrews says parks staff are doing what they can to ensure as many games as possible take place, however the continuing rain means the grounds are getting muddy with use.

"We've had to cancel a lot of training but are working with regional sports organisations so at least some weekend games can go ahead. We're trying to get as much sport played as possible, but it is a balancing act.

"The city doesn't have the luxury of surplus fields so we do have to manage what we have carefully. If we don't, we run the risk of putting fields out of use for weeks or the rest of the season."

Mr Andrews says Wellingtonians probably don't need to be reminded about how wet it has been over the last few months. During June there has been an average rainfall of 200mm compared with 56mm for the same time last year.

The city's newest artificial sportsfield, built behind Te Whaea in what was the old Wellington showground car park, has been providing some winter relief. The field is still a couple of weeks away from being officially opened but is already being used by Capital Football and Wellington Rugby for some games and training.

"Like the field at Nairnville, which opened last year, it is already proving its worth."

The Council is urging people to phone its cancellation line, 801 4134, to check on grounds. Information is updated at 8am and 1pm daily and will say which grounds are closed and list any exceptions.

"We are hoping for an improvement in the weather but until then we appreciate the continuing support and cooperation we are getting from local sports codes, clubs and groups."