The campaign for a review of fees charged for council sports facilities has claimed victory, with an overwhelming majority of elected Councillors in the two biggest Wellington cities pledging support for a review during the campaign.
Upper Hutt Mayor Wayne Guppy, Wellington Mayor Tory Whanau, and Hutt City Council Mayor Campbell Barry all committed to a review into sports field charges.
In Wellington City Council, 87% of Councillors committed to a review, and in Hutt City Council 66% of councillors made the same pledge (4 out of 6). Only two elected Councillors at Wellington City Council did not commit to a review; Tony Randle, and Dianne Calvert.
Affordable Sports for Greater Wellington group spokesperson Lisa Jones says players, volunteers, and parents alike are excited to see candidates deliver on their promise.
“Our sporting community is ecstatic with the results. Tens of thousands of sports players and families now look forward to reviews of sports fees being announced within the first 100 days by Councils.”
“We’re grateful for the support of all candidates, and the new Councillors. We now need to kick these reviews off within the first 100 days of each Council.
“This campaign has shown how sport brings people together – and these newly-elected councillors will make sure cost is never a barrier to that.”
Pressure will now mount from the sport codes on Councils that are just short of a majority for a review, as no action will condemn local sports people to struggle with rising ground fees.
Upper Hutt is well positioned as returning Mayor Wayne Guppy pledged to encourage the wider council to agree to a review. Kāpiti results are still provisional, but the movement may need one or two more councillors to support a review to make it happen within the first 100 days. Mayor Janet Holborow regretably did not take a stance.
Only in Porirua is the situation really dire for sports players and families - with only 3 out of 10 Councillors committed to a review.
Jones say those who have not yet committed to a review will likely be in favour once they see the evidence.
“Club subs have been driven up by the prices councils charge sports codes to use sports fields and facilities.”
“Up to 60 percent of a player’s club membership fee goes towards charges from Councils for the maintenance of grounds.
“An analysis of one sports turf showed that despite council claiming fees are subsidised, the cost of using a council owned turf is on par with privately-owned grounds,” says Jones.
“Additionally, we calculated that the Council’s initial build cost of the turf had actually been recovered, which means it’s making a profit.”
The winning candidates who committed to undertake a review into Council sports fees are listed below:Wellington City CouncilMayor Tory WhanauTamatha PaulRay ChungTim BrownJohn ApanowiczIona PannettLaurie FoonNicola YoungSarah FreeRebecca MatthewsTeri O’NeillBen McNultyNureddin AbdurahmanMatthew RewetiLower Hutt City CouncilMayor Campbell BarryBrady DyerJosh BriggsKaren MorganGabriel TupouUpper Hutt City CouncilMayor Wayne GuppyDylan BentleyChris CarsonEmma HoldernessDave WheelerPorirua City CouncilNathan WaddleGeoff HaywardTracy JohnstonRoss Leggett (committed to transparency of sports fees)Kapiti District CouncilMartin HallidayNigel WilsonKathy SpiersSophie Handford