Lights out for sports field

JOEL MAXWELL
Last updated 12:46 05/06/2014
Paraparaumu Domain
JOEL MAXWELL/FAIRFAX NZ
Lights out: The site of the collapsed sports light, with the post in the background, at Paraparaumu Domain. The rusted base of the collapsed post.

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Kapiti Observer

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A rusted light post has collapsed, nearly falling onto the main trunk railway line and forcing the closure of a sports park.

Yesterday Kapiti Coast District Council announced the Paraparaumu Domain football area, home of the Relay for Life and junior football training, was closed to training due to safety concerns.

It comes after one of the training light posts at the fields snapped off and fell through scrub almost hitting the tracks to the east of the domain.

Council leisure and open space asset manager Lex Bartlett said four other light posts would need to be taken down immediately from the about a dozen lights circling the training field.

He said the football grounds are council land but the lights belong to the Aorangi Sports Club.

He said the council replaced two of the poles several years ago after it became aware of safety issue with the posts during the first Relay for Life.

''This year we're going to be embarking on more regular audits of lights not owned by council but on council land.''
Bartlett said one of the posts ''came completely down'' close to the railway lines on Friday during the day.

''We made that safe and then we pushed forward our audit on the lights, particularly [at] that park. We were advised there were another four lights that were in an unsafe condition.''

Bartlett said the council would meet club representatives this week.

He said at first glance the poles look alright with rust only noticeable at ground level.''When you look around the bases of them you can see where the rust is, and the one that failed, basically failed at ground level so the top looks perfect but the bottom bit at the ground is completely rusted out.''

He said the fields are mostly used by junior football teams, which have an arrangement with Aorangi to use the lights.

While there is extra park space elsewhere in the district for teams to train on, not all of them would have lights, he said.

Bartlett said the other poles at the park were showing signs of decay, so it may not be addressed quickly.

''We've got to make sure the parks are safe for the public, but I know from some of the clubs that these [training lights] are big ticket items, and we need to work through that.''
There are two junior training fields in the grounds, he said

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