Wellington sportsfield upgrades to international standard

9 July 2020

The Te Whaea sportsfield in Newtown has recently had shock pads installed to meet IRB and FIFA requirements, to provide a better surface and playing experience for users – from both the community and professional arenas.

Image of upgraded Te Whaea sportsfield
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Te Whaea was the first Wellington City Council owned full-sized field to have turf installed in 2010, and is used mostly by local rugby and soccer teams – but is also a training ground for the Hurricanes and visiting All Blacks.

Upgrading Te Whaea is an important step to ensure sports and training can continue in a safer environment whatever the weather – and in Wellington that’s important, says Sport and Recreation Portfolio Leader (and soccer referee), Councillor Simon Woolf.

“With this work done, we can provide facilities that are easily assessable and readily available to the Wellington sporting community, which will also reduce the risk of injury to players.

“The new installation and new turf means play can go ahead in inclement conditions, and rugby and other codes can have fewer injury concerns thanks to the shock pads. This field also has lighting which allows for higher utilisation, especially in the darker winter months.”

Having restricted access to organised sport proved to be one of the hardest aspects of the Covid-19 lockdown for many members of the community, so this project will be welcomed by keen sports players, says Mayor Andy Foster.

“As a lifetime football player myself, I know this addition to the field will make a big difference to the playing experience. This work will also enable community teams to have easily accessible sporting opportunities and activities, in a high performance standard arena, to encourage participation for all. Artificial sports fields are critical in minimising cancellations. They also provide a very true surface which improves the quality of games.

“It’s important for us to remove any barriers to Wellingtonians getting active and enjoying a healthy lifestyle, especially when there’s such an important social aspect to it too.”

The ground was closed in December when work started, but completion was delayed by the Covid-19 lockdown. The work was done by Polytan NZ Ltd, and cost $1.1 million.