Calls to can proposed Tauranga stadium

An artist’s impression of the proposed stadium at Tauranga Domain. Image: Tauranga City Council.

Plans for a community stadium in Tauranga’s city centre are still under fire from clubs that would be moved on if it was built.

The proposed $220m stadium would provide 7000 permanent seats with the provision for an additional 8000 temporary seats at the Tauranga Domain

It would also include a “light” exhibition centre; a function centre, a community multi-use facility with changing rooms and lounge space, and a sports science/physiotherapy space.

Tauranga City Council consulted on the stadium as part of the Long-Term Plan 2024-34 (LTP).

The Tauranga Lawn Tennis Club and Tauranga Millenium Track Trust expressed their opposition at the LTP hearings on Monday.

The tennis club would lose parking and have some of its courts relocated and the all-weather athletic track, that the trust built, would be demolished if the stadium went ahead.

Garth Mathieson of the Tauranga Millennium Track Trust said the proposed stadium wouldn’t have enough parking and couldn’t be expanded to keep up with the growth of Tauranga.

Nearby Rotorua had a 20,000-seat stadium and a much smaller population, he said.

Hands off Tauranga Domain alliance members Gretchen Benvie, Michel Galloway, Mark Decke, Murray Clarkson and Garth Mathieson. Photo: John Borren/SunLive.

“The community stadium will result in the loss of a substantial part of the only large green space in central Tauranga.

“Let's call the community stadium what it is, a second regional rugby stadium.”

Mathieson said the funding for the stadium should be from external funders rather than ratepayers.

Tauranga Lawn Tennis Club, club captain Michel Galloway said the greenspace at the domain should be left as a legacy for future generations.

The stadium would result in a loss of the community sports that operated from the domain, she said.

The Tauranga Croquet Club and the Tauranga Bowling Club would be displaced if it were built.

The track trust, tennis and croquet clubs formed the Hands Off Tauranga Domain alliance and held a protest in March last year. Around 500 people turned up to support the cause.

Galloway requested the stadium be removed from the long-term plan.

Some of the crowd at at the Hands of Tauranga Domain protest last year.Photo: Alisha Evans/ SunLive.

Barry Scott said the council had failed to adequately consult with the community about the stadium.

“The council needs to consider the views of the community, encourage people to present their views and provide those people with a reasonable opportunity to make their presentation. Then they must receive those presentations with an open mind.”

Scott also called for the stadium to be removed from the LTP, he also asked for the 10-year plan to be delayed until September.

This would enable the council elected in July to “have a proper look at it” on the residents’ behalf, he said.

Ken Green said there were assumptions most people make about stadiums. These were that the initial cost was always wrong, and stadiums had cost blowouts, and that stadiums were multi-use.

“As soon as you put grass in one, it does not become multi-use. In New Zealand as soon as you put grass in it, it becomes a rugby stadium.”

Stadiums also sat empty most of the time and the cost to run them were “huge”, said Green.

“They [stadiums] sit there the whole time doing nothing, which really isn't a good use of all that ratepayers money.”

The hearings continue Tuesday and Wednesday.

LDR is local body journalism co-funded by RNZ and NZ On Air.

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Posted on 13-02-2024 13:24 | By Let's get real

Anyone who has been to Eden Park in Auckland will understand how utterly ridiculous this proposal is.
How about some thought put into planning meetings and rather than focusing on the few positive outcomes, start your meetings with downside implications and address them fully first.
And STOP calling it a community stadium, it's only proposed for elite sports and additional income for the Strand businesses, but ratepayers who will likely never use the facilities will be paying for it.
Let's not overlook the fact that the only people who are currently being forced to spend money on local building projects and infrastructure are the ratepayers, via edicts from unelected commissioners. Just how much private investment is there in our bottomless pit and who profits from council largesse...?

Rugby already has a stadium or 2

Posted on 13-02-2024 13:56 | By waiknot

One in Rotorua and the second at Baypark. If rugby don't like Baypark then they can fund a new stadium

Fab 4 + TCC

Posted on 13-02-2024 13:59 | By an_alias

You have TCC all un-elected and the Fab4 who are paid to live in a different planet.
It is why we have elected council to control the out of control un-elected who only dream big and ignore both reality and budget.
Is this grand scheme yet ANOTHER un-elected Levy but hey we can opt out later aye National.....I mean come on, these guys are out of control

More waste

Posted on 13-02-2024 14:15 | By OG-2024

FIRST: CAN WE PLEASE STOP calling it a council! The "council" was ousted in favour of the autocratic commissioners years ago and Tauranga has been wrecked during their tenure!

Second: WHY are we allowing this bunch of misfits to ruin a perfectly good location? Granted there may well be some need for improvements and maintenance to the current assets... BUT IT WORKS for Tauranga!!

IF this folly goes ahead where are all the cars ( oh sorry no cars the roads cant handle the traffic now) going to park??!!! Maybe instead of a car park they will install cycle racks and spectators and users cycle to the events = a fitter city.... no maybe not. A bus park, that's what we'd need even if it needs more space and oh yeah where would we park our cars or bicycles so we can park and ride?


Posted on 13-02-2024 16:04 | By peanuts9

So many naysayers.
Oh, let's cancel any improvements, let's keep the old, decrepit facilities because parking is so important & horror of horrors my rates may go up.
BayPark is inaccessible for many, a health & safety nightmare for many disabled & a disgrace to the city.
In the meantime, important events will continue to go elsewhere.

Can It!

Posted on 13-02-2024 16:11 | By Mommatum

The headline couldn’t be more clearer, can this project, it isn’t wanted and for a so called “community” stadium it’s ironic that the actual community that uses it now being “moved on.” Of course that doesn’t mean we won’t be expected to pay for it.

Not another one.

Posted on 13-02-2024 16:57 | By Duegatti

The only similarity between Italy and NZ is the preponderance of places of worship.
But ours need mowing.

Tauranga doesn't need another.


Posted on 13-02-2024 17:44 | By Let's get real

You are obviously a believer in expecting others to fund your casual entertainment... How about we open the debate up to the general public (as it should be) and call for donations towards the cost of just the construction (not the ongoing maintenance costs or running costs) and if the general public can raise two-thirds of that cost, then we seek approval from ratepayers for the remaining costs. To be built at Barkes corner on our current "public green space"...? Access would be easier, room for parking and only two casual sports areas disadvantaged.
Once again, why is it only council money being lavished around on the whims of a few...? That must surely be an easy question to answer.


Posted on 13-02-2024 17:45 | By Kancho

Stadiums are costly not only to build but to maintain and run . North shore stadium a lesson in they are seriously considering demolition. Stadiums generally don't make money but are drain. The area is already congested and to near people's homes so parking and transport a burden . If they must build then move out of town for more space and cheaper land and then have transport. . And yes peanuts it will increase rates not may. How about better core business spend on water , drainage and transfer station for the south city instead

@ peanuts9

Posted on 13-02-2024 21:48 | By Yadick

Perhaps you should visit your so-called decrepit facilities. If you do you'll find they're not as decrepit as you make them out to be, yes rates may go up and those of us paying rates are sick to death of paying, paying, paying for niceties that are exactly that and not needed at present. Nice to have but not at present. Even the Commorons have said our city is basically bankrupt. There actions that they will walk away from speak differently.
How is Baypark a disgrace, inaccessible to many and a health and safety NIGHTMARE for many disabled? My dear Wife is currently disabled and we find it totally the opposite.
You also are a naysayer - it depends on opinion doesn't it.

@ Let's get real + OG-2024

Posted on 13-02-2024 21:51 | By Yadick

Excellent comments. We'll said indeed.


Posted on 14-02-2024 08:31 | By Inmediasres

Well said!

Why are the silent masses always held back by the vocal minority....

It's an embarrassment that such a big city doesn't have a stadium. It's not just for rugby. Also for league, soccer, concerts, etc.

Don't bother to call Baypark a stadium. It's a speedway track, and that's ALL it is. Not even remotely suitable for anything else.

The athletes club will get a brand new facility. They should be stoked, not against it.

Oh no, the tennis club will lose a couple of carparks. There's a legitimate reason to stop a major project...

It's just ridiculous. Too many negative nellies in this country with no vision.

Let's do nothing, achieve nothing, go nowhere. This country will be a horrible place to live in a couple of decades. But hey, at least our rates won't go up. Priorities.

Road congestion

Posted on 14-02-2024 09:26 | By CliftonGuy

The recent "One Love" festival illustrates what will happen on a regular, probably fortnightly basis if this development goes ahead. It is estimated that there will be about 33 large events per year at this venue - roughly one per fortnight!
We will see road closures in the immediate area, and a battle to find parking for those who drive to an event from outside Tauranga, estimated at 1,800 vehicles. There will also be the problem finding parking space for the multitude of buses, up to 70, carrying patrons to and from the venue.
And then the resultant traffic constipation up and down Cameron Road, including the SH2. Gridlock will last for hours.
The whole concept is rediculous and unworkable.

@ pea-@-nuts @ In-media-arses

Posted on 14-02-2024 10:14 | By an_alias

You guys are hilarious.....I love it "held back the silent masses by the vocal minority".
Classic head in the sand, all anyone is asking for is the ability to have a say on the constant fiasco of dictators.
How about these project actually get voted on by the people, do you have any idea what a democracy actually is ?
How about you stump up the cash to fund these grand schemes ?
Clearly In-media-arses is a true believer in dictators spending there money without having a single say on it but hey its always easy to spend other peoples saving and income aye.
The most in debt council in NZ and they are still spending our kids future away.

Build and they will come

Posted on 14-02-2024 10:15 | By 2up

Tauranga needs to move away from being known as the boring old retirement capital of NZ.
We need more young injection to lift this place out of its deep sleep.

Spending $220 Million

Posted on 14-02-2024 11:46 | By earlybird

on a stadium with a limited capacity of 7000 permanent seats in the middle of town without any parking is an absolutely crazy waste of ratepayers money. What planet are these people on. The location is rediculous, and the capacity is way too small.


Posted on 14-02-2024 11:54 | By Let's get real

Just what is wrong with some people...? More money than sense.
Over the years we have seen council spending explode without restraint on "nice-to-have" vanity projects. Those of us that pay rates, have over the years, been rewarded with additional costs to private companies for what was once included in our rates payments.
Theft by stealth is the name of the game.
Separate out regional council rates, rubbish removal costs to private companies, water supply charges and council can make spurious claims that they are managing rates demands successfully.
Then of course in place of council "workers" we employ an additional layer of management, supplied at exorbitant rates, by council contractors and consultants.
Any idea how much it costs to mow grass, plant annuals and trim trees....? Or how many levels of management is required...?
Which other core services are going to be outsourced...?

The Master

Posted on 14-02-2024 12:33 | By Ian Stevenson

When Baypark was built, TCC "REQUIRED" thousands of carparks to be provided and paid for as part of the build. As recall some 4000 odd carparks for what was to be a 10,000 seat capacity stadium.

Where are the car parks?

At Baypark, the build cost required a roundabout to be placed on Truman Lane/SH29 and adjoining lanes, slip lanes and all kinds of crazy stuff.

Where are the road upgrades?

The Master

Posted on 14-02-2024 12:35 | By Ian Stevenson

TCC are totally stupid and unrealistic...

1 A duplicate stadium is not "Infrastructure"?
2 There is no possibility of this huge mess being able to pay its own direct operating costs!
3 There is no possibility of paying the interest or debt?
4 Whatever TCCs "dreamed" use, business plans... nothing close to it will eventuate this century... EVER!

The Master

Posted on 14-02-2024 12:36 | By Ian Stevenson

TCC are totally stupid and unrealistic...

1 A duplicate stadium is not "Infrastructure"?
2 There is no possibility of this huge mess being able to pay its own direct operating costs!
3 There is no possibility of paying the interest or debt?
4 Whatever TCCs "dreamed" use, business plans... nothing close to it will eventuate this century... EVER!

The Master

Posted on 14-02-2024 12:41 | By Ian Stevenson

A simple comparison...

A Baypark - cost $12m, seating 20,000, carparking 4500 (Not TCC)

B Domain - cost $220m seating 7,000 carparking ZERO (all TCC)

Please pick the one that is 100% crazy, unrealistic, nuts and some...

NB: likely impact on annual rates will include: -
- Operating losses - say $6-7m/pa
- Operating losses increased at Baypark as revenue is stolen from there - say $2-3m/pa
- Interest costs on debt $13.5m/pa (more than likely massive cost/budget blow outs +50%
- Depreciation provisions $5+m/pa

Added to rates = say $30m/pa or about $500 per household

The Master

Posted on 14-02-2024 17:49 | By Ian Stevenson

Rugby (the little games - nothing important) does not need a massive "Palace" to play the odd game.

There will never been a AB's game in Tauranga, there will never be a Super Pacific Rugby game here either... obvious why. The main cities pull he crowds in massive stadiums....

Get real folks this is all just MORON, nut case stuff to duplicate Baypark. Regardless Baypark is a financial disaster anyway, why have two...??


Posted on 16-02-2024 11:28 | By Inmediasres


Good to see that you can't spell my user name, just as you don't let facts get in the way of your agenda.

According to the Office of the Auditor-General of New Zealand, Tauranga has the third highest debt in the country, not the first. Never let the truth get in the way of a (good?) yarn though, right?


Posted on 16-02-2024 11:32 | By Inmediasres


Of course we all want democracy. But where do we draw the line with public engagement?

You don't want to help fund a stadium because you don't want to use it.

Ok then, what about people who don't want to fund parks and playgrounds because they don't use them? People who don't want to fund tennis courts because they don't use them? People who don't go to the library so don't want to fund that?

It goes on and on.

The reality is that if we consult everyone on everything, we'd end up with NOTHING. There'd be absolutely NO public amenities at all.

Democracy is a balance of engagement and making decisions for the benefit of all. Everyone benefits SOMEHOW from SOMETHING around them. But nobody uses everything.

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