It is do or die for Petone Sportsville as council commits a further $300,000

All Black Allan Hewson in action in 1983.  Known for his calmness under pressure, he now faces a big hurdle getting ...
Barry Durrant

All Black Allan Hewson in action in 1983. Known for his calmness under pressure, he now faces a big hurdle getting Petone Sportsville over the line.

Allan Hewson has taken on some big sporting challenges but he looks to have his hands full with Petone Sportsville.

On Thursday the city council reluctantly agreed to spend $300,000 on the design of a proposed sporting hub, which has been under discussion since 2011.

The latest proposal is for a $ 7.4 million facility on North Park, includes rugby and a range of other clubs including gymnastics, tennis and bowls.

A draft concept plan of what Petone Sportsville might look like.
Supplied

A draft concept plan of what Petone Sportsville might look like.

Earlier proposals to build facilities, including a $25 million regional stadium, on the Petone Rec, fell over with opponents arguing for the preservation of the large open space.

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Mayor Ray Wallace told councillors discussing the annual plan, that the project had reached a critical point.

Memorabilia relating to William James Hardham VC takes pride of place at the Petone Rugby Club. Hardham received his VC ...

Memorabilia relating to William James Hardham VC takes pride of place at the Petone Rugby Club. Hardham received his VC is October 1901. He played for Petone and the club wants an assurance that it will be able to display its memorabilia in Petone Sportsville.

The clubs involved, including rugby, needed to be able to show they supported it and wanted it to proceed.

Former All Black and Petone rugby stalwart Hewson chairs Petone Sportsville and after the meeting supported the mayor's position.

He plans to work hard to get  the rugby club on board.

A proposal backed by Gareth Morgan to build a $25 stadium on Petone Rec failed due to local opposition. The latest ...

A proposal backed by Gareth Morgan to build a $25 stadium on Petone Rec failed due to local opposition. The latest proposal for Petone is a $7.4 million sporting hub based on North Park.

"If the club doesn't want to proceed, there is no point wasting any more ratepayers' money. If we can't convince them (the rugby club) it will not fly."

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The size of the challenge can be found on the rugby club's web page.

In March a sub-committee dealing with Sportsville wrote that without more detailed information, it not could make a recommendation to proceed.

"So therefore the status quo remains."

Hewson said there are an "odd few" who oppose the hub but it would ultimately be up to all rugby club members to decide.

Over the next few months, he would be working hard to get rugby's support.

"I do not want to waste any more time or money, so hopefully I can convince people."

Petone Rugby Club chairman Wayne Smith said the club supported the concept of a hub but expected three conditions to be met.

It opposed any buildings on the Petone Rec, it had to end up with no less than what it had now and there had to be an acceptable governance model in place.

Their clubrooms were in good condition and they were concerned that if they had to move into a new building, there would be nowhere to display their large memorabilia collection. The club had a proud history and he does not want to see that lost in any development.

 - Stuff

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