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Food For Recreational Thought

Here is an extract from an article in the Recreation Association Blog by Kathy Denver-Tod - manager of the Assets Group at the Tararua District Council that is directly relevant to the situation that our Council and Community Board have got themselves into over the Zoom Zone Indoor Sports Facility. 

"Like the library example, recreation is increasingly about connectedness and wellbeing, not just fitness. Alongside nailing down what people really want, planners need to look closely at trends such as the move toward informal events over traditional, organised sport.

“People are seeking spaces and places to recreate in in their own time,” says Kathy. And it may be just as important to be able to have a coffee and a catch-up with a friend in the same facility they’ve just shared a yoga class in.

Planners also need to take into account the changing size as well as make-up of the populations they’re planning for.

Only Auckland, Hamilton and Christchurch are growing at a fast pace. Other areas are experiencing slow or declining growth, or even going backwards. With fewer people, but a growing ageing cohort, these areas have a declining ability to fund new assets and especially to maintain them into the future.

Our ageing population is also challenging widely-held assumptions about what older people want. They’re more active, with many into walking and biking. ‘Older’ sports, such as bowls, are dying. The changing ethnic profile in some areas will also impact on recreation facility planning

These trends all need to be considered alongside what people want and what budgets will enable.

While Kathy works with a wide breadth of organisations, the asset groups who really “get it” are recreation groups. She believes that’s because people in our industry are already very people-focused.

Want to hear more on this fascinating topic from Kathy? She’ll be speaking at the Thinking Recreation conference later this month."

Perhaps some of the boosters should endeavour to get to the Conference to hear what she has to say rather than cocooning themselves in this super-heated atmosphere of building extravagant facilities in the hope that the customers will come. Some of the SGL statistics in the project document presented are decidedly suspect, including demographic information as highlighted in on 7 Sharp on 17 July. And that is quite apart from the use of resources (TUGPRA) that are the property of every ratepayer.

I have just returned from Martinborough where admittedly a much wealthier community is funding its new $5m Town Hall Extension (library, community centre etc.) from funds that almost entirely raised through local effort rather than sucking their Council dry - interestingly, the same SGL outfit is advising their project team.  

The way in which Zoom Zone have latched on to the TUGPRA Account should be a matter of great concern in this town, but in the absence of any media interest, it just passes under the radar. The miniscule amount that they have been obliged to raise through their own effort is an affront to those rate-payers who will never get to use this facility.




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Reader Comments (2)

Sorry to raise the following again, Bill!
I am a relative newcomer to Thames. I endeavour to read all your Posts, as very few TCDC matters are reported-on/commented on in any other way. However, in most of your Posts I find it very difficult to understand the detail when I am not familiar with the acronyms that you use in many of your Posts. In this Post you have used 'SGR' and 'TUGPRA'. I simply have no idea what document/committee/entity you are referring to! Presumably you consider that most of your very frequent, long-time, readers know what the acronyms you use, actually mean. However, I respectfully suggest that all your Posts would be of much more interest to newcomers to Thames, and to newcomers to your Blog generally, if you spelt out the name of the document (or whatever it is) when you refer to it, in a Post, for the first time; and then use the acronym for it in any subsequent references in that Post.
Thank you for all your effort, in doing what you do.

July 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTim Grove

Fair comment Tim, but could I suggest that you make greater use of the excellent search engine that I provide on the site - you will find explanations or expansions of most of the acronyms I use, including these. In most cases, that will be in the first entry - I generally expand on first use. But please use SGL - not SGR. It is of course a company name, and I don't always know what they represent. TUGPRA is Thames Urban General Purposes Reserve Account. Cheers.

July 29, 2014 | Registered CommenterBill Barclay

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