Fiscal boost for Yarrow Stadium facelift



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New Zealand New Plymoth Yarrow Stadium Image: stuff.co.nz

The New Zealand Government has put in capital infusion of $20 million to rehabilitate New Plymouth’s Yarrow Stadium.

Yarrow Stadium in New Zealand conforms to the International Rugby Board’s ‘clean stadium’ policy. The venue was first developed as a rugby ground in 1931, with the first stadium completed in 1947.

ausleisure.com.au’ reported that New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the funding recently during a visit to New Plymouth where she pledged that $48 million would be injected into seven projects in the region to bolster the economy and generate local jobs.

Commenting on the funding of $50 million to repair and redevelop Yarrow Stadium, Prime Minister Ardern stated, “Projects like sports facilities, pools and libraries unite communities and supporting them is a win-win for regional economies and social wellbeing, as we reap the rewards of going hard and early in response to COVID-19 to get our regions and economy back open again.”

ausleisure.com.au’ further reported that the development includes refurbishing Yarrow Stadium’s two main stands, which have not been used since June 2018 as they are considered not to be earthquake resistant. The facility will be made more futuristic, new LED lighting will be installed and further improvements will be made to the pitch.

Owned by the Taranaki Stadium Trust, a Taranaki Regional Council-controlled body, and run by the New Plymouth District Council, the venue, primarily employed for rugby matches, currently operates at a reduced capacity.

ausleisure.com.au’ added that the project to restore the venue to “full operational use” was agreed in January, with a process commencing to select contractors to work on the project. However, commencement was delayed due to New Zealand’s coronavirus-enforced shutdown.

Welcoming the funding, Taranaki Regional Council Chairman David MacLeod said, “We’re extremely grateful for this ‘shovel-ready’ funding from the Government. It will reduce Yarrow Stadium rates by a considerable amount, and we’re aiming for work to begin before the end of the year.”

Taranaki is a coastal and mountainous region on the western side of New Zealand’s North Island.

“The grandstands at Yarrow Stadium have been out of use for several years due to earthquake risk and the community has been looking for solutions. The Government’s $20 million investment, with co-funding from the regional council, will bring the stadium back to full operational use, creating 150 jobs,” Ardern added.

“Across the country we are backing shovel-ready infrastructure projects as part of our five-point economic plan to keep New Zealand moving: By investing in people, creating jobs, preparing for the future, supporting small businesses and positioning New Zealand globally,” she continued.

“The funding announced today is part of the $3 billion infrastructure package in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, announced by Finance Minister Grant Robertson Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones on July 1. The fund is expected to deliver more than 20,000 jobs across New Zealand and unlock investment with a project value of more than $5 billion,” the Prime Minister further informed.

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