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Netballers 'desperate' for second HQ

JESS ETHERIDGE
Last updated 05:00 01/04/2014
Netball North Harbour
Jess Etheridge

OVER CAPACITY: Netball North Harbour has been seeking a second northern site for 20 years.

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A 20-year fight to get a second northern netball site may be finally gathering steam.

Netball North Harbour has been "seeking identification" of a second location, which would have up to 50 courts.

They would be covered over time as the sport is now an all-year one, chairman Mark Abbott says.

The current facility on Northcote Rd has 21 courts, two of them being indoors.

Kaipatiki Local Board chairwoman Kay McIntyre says she can remember meetings from 1993 where North Shore City Council was asked to help with the search.

They are "desperate" for another site near major transport links, Mrs McIntyre says.

The request has been "falling on deaf ears", she says, but the board is now willing to do some serious investigation and take it "all the way to the top".

Mr Abbott says 37 teams play on each court a week and more than 400,000 people visit the centre a year - just below Auckland Zoo's visitor numbers.

Around $200,000 was given to Netball North Harbour by North Shore boards in 2012 to rejuvenate 15 of its courts.

A further $230,000 is required to repair the remaining courts and warm up area, Mr Abbott says.

Hard surface courts are not looked after by Auckland Council, despite the city upgrading grassy sports fields.

The centre is "in a constant state of renewals and remediation".

"We do ration services due to demand," he says.

But the courts are operating at overcapacity and the organisation wants a long-term funding partnership with Kaipatiki.

Mr Abbott says the partnership would see North Harbour reach equity with other netball centres, such as Auckland and Waitakere.

Those facilities receive money from Auckland Council as part of legacy agreements prior to the super-city.

Netball North Harbour's administration building is leaky and there were concerns last May for the roof's longevity.

Flooding in the centre's car park has been eased by Auckland Council contractors, Mr Abbott says.

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- North Shore Times

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