Grass needs to grow

Parts of Victoria Park will remain closed until the end of the month because of damage to the grounds during the Taste of Auckland event.

Extremely dry weather conditions in the lead-up to the four-day event are to blame for a substantial amount of damage to the inner-city park, Auckland Council local and sports central manager Jane Aitken says.

More than 120 exhibitors crammed the park last month to sell their wares to an estimated 15,000 foodies.

"We expect damage but the amount will vary dependent on the numbers of patrons and the weather conditions," Ms Aitken says.

Some areas needed to be replaced with turf to speed up their recovery while others had to be under-sown.

Taste of Auckland organisers pick up the bill for all damage caused by the event.

There has been no net loss of weekend sports games but weekday games have been affected and may have to be made up at the end of the season, Ms Aitken says.

A period of at least two weeks is needed without play on the turf.

"This is to help the turf grow in and to protect the casual users of the park who play soccer and touch from any injuries such as sprained knees or ankles."

The area will be fenced off until December 20 at the latest.

"For the seed to mature fully we would ideally keep the park closed for six weeks," she says.

"We realise that this is not an option due to the pressure of both booked and casual users so we are protecting the turf for the minimum amount of time possible to assist with the establishment."

Auckland City Harbour News