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Thames Valley Hockey is facing a $829,000 bill to replace its turf. File Photo: SUPPLIED

Help for ‘urgent’ new turf

Hauraki district councillors have agreed to continue their financial support of the Thames Valley Hockey Turf Society, with the granting of a $156,726 contribution for refurbishment.
This will increase district rates by eight cents.
The commitment to the society stems back to 2005, when council resolved to financially support future artificial turf renewals for the trust.
At the time, it provided funding of $200,000 – half of which was taken from council grants, the other half through annual rates funding.
This year, the society has been quoted a cost of $829,095 to replace the turf, which it hopes will be majority-funded through the national Lottery Community Facilities Fund.
Society president Julie Stephenson told council that the resurfacing of the facility, located at the Hugh Hayward domain in Ngātea, was “urgent”.
“Over the last few years, there has been an issue with the sub-base due to a build-up of fines which has caused a rippling effect on the top layer. This has become a significant safety issue to the point where neighbouring associations will not play on our turf, and we have been unable to host any regional or national games or tournaments.
“As there is no way to fix this without lifting the turf and shock-pad, the society has carefully considered their options and have agreed to look at a different product for the resurfacing,” she said.
The new turf chosen by the society is made from recycled rubber from old car tyres, and end-of-life plastic. These components are grounded down and refined into pellets which are then processed into a porous pavement.
Hauraki Mayor Toby Adams said it was “a shame” that the current turf had got to the stage where it couldn’t attract regional or national tournaments, and said it was a “fantastic asset” to the community.
Plains ward councillor Ray Broad also supported the project, and said that continuing with the funding “made sense”.
According to a report, council has accumulated funds of $156,726 for the replacement of the turf and councillors unanimously voted to utilise this money at its meeting on August 31.
Continuing support for the future meant there would be a slight impact on rates, with an increase of 8c per ratepayer under the district rate, and 28c per ratepayer under the ward rates, totalling $18,000 per year.