Newlands Park and Grenada North Park – should they be upgraded? Or are there better ways to spend the Council’s budget?

4 May 2018

Wellington’s northern suburbs – from Newlands and Johnsonville to Tawa – will be where much of the city’s population growth occurs in the next 25 years.

Northern suburbs councillors

Northern Ward Councillors

In recent years Wellington City Council has received feedback from community leaders that not enough of the Council’s budget is spent in the northern suburbs. 

In the draft 2018-28 Long-Term Plan – currently open for public consultation – there are proposals to spend up to $14 million on major upgrades of Newlands Park and Grenada North Park.

The City Councillors representing the Northern Ward – Deputy Mayor Jill Day and Councillors Peter Gilberd and Malcolm Sparrow – all support the upgrade proposals. They say the investment, especially in the case of Newlands Park, is well overdue.

At Grenada North Park, the investment is needed to provide sports and recreation facilities for the population that is already rapidly growing in the area.

“Big housing developments are already under way in Churton Park and Woodridge and further major developments are scheduled for the area, especially after the construction of the proposed Grenada-Petone link road. It’s obvious we need more facilities in this area,” Deputy Mayor Day says.

“We want Wellingtonians to have the opportunity to be active and participate in sport in their local area, and not have to travel far and wide for home games as well as away games.”

At Newlands Park the proposal is to spend $3.6 million on a comprehensive upgrade starting in 2019. The work could involve the installation of an all-weather playing surface with lighting for evening sport and the construction of a perimeter path. Some $1.5 million of the total cost would come from the Plimmer Trust.

Cr Gilberd says the proposed work would also make the park more ‘visible’ – with the installation of a pedestrian crossing on Newlands Road to improve accessibility from the shopping centre and community centre area.

At Grenada North Park the proposal is considerably more comprehensive - to spend about $10.4 million on community sports hub to serve the northern suburbs. The project would be subject to extensive community consultation and design scoping – but up to four full-sized sportsfields could be added to the existing park, with work projected to start in 2022.

Cr Sparrow says the existing Grenada North Park sportsfields “are basically not fit for purpose – for much of the winter it’s a bog. We’d need to do extensive earthworks and install drainage to make the park a realistic year-round playing venue.”

He says one of the advantages of Grenada North Park is it has easy access from the Porirua motorway and it’s quite close to Takapu Road rail station.

Cr Day says now is the time for Wellingtonians to tell the Council whether such spending on recreation in the northern suburbs is a priority – or whether the Council should be investing elsewhere on other initiatives.

More than 700 submissions on the 10-Year Plan had been received as of this Friday morning.

People can read the plan and have their say via Our 10-Year Plan or through social media via #WgtnPlan.

Consultation is open until midnight on 15 May. Have your say!