Answers on Mercury Bay Sports Park in Dispute
Friday, February 10, 2017 at 12:54PM
Bill Barclay

A expert in the field (literally!) has commented as follows in regard to the answers provide to my questions on the Mercury Bay Sports Park.

Answer: "Final costs are not confirmed as this project is still being implemented. Fields two and five will be sand slit within the next week, the total cost to renovate all 5 fields over three years is expected to be $436,422. This renovation work is necessary to ensure the fields are usable all year round. Last winter while other fields were closed because of flooding the sand slit fields were still operational."

Comment "Sand slitting is normal maintenance, not capital works, and should be done on a sand based field every year (or sometimes twice a year) as a matter of course.  Alternatives are mole ploughing, vibra-moling and coring.  These techniques are all expensive.  However, I fail to understand why field renovation costs $436k over three years - $145 k a year??????  If no-one is using the outer fields they would be better off to "retire" three fields and just let them make hay on them, and bring them in as required.  Why they ever went sand based with couch is beyond me."

Answer: "A specific cost benefit analysis has not been carried out. A recreational strategy for the Mercury Bay area is being developed which will review the Sports Park Facility along with other areas of development for recreation in the area. 

This strategy will address the social and community benefit for recreational facilities, which includes sporting facilities. The strategy will take into account needs for future development of the Mercury Bay Multi Sports Park facility to accommodate growing numbers of users and, young and old as well as tangible benefits for health, wellbeing and social development. Financial benefit analysis for sporting facilities is difficult to measure and when scrutinised is very subjective."

Comment: On the contrary, cost/benefits and user demand and needs analysis for sports-fields are commonly undertaken, and I dont think they are difficult to measure and scrutinise.  

Our readers comments on the statement regarding the carpark are querulous to say the least. I am not an expert in the field, but the claims do appear 'out-there.' and somewhat exaggerated. I have never heard of such a process being undertaken in similar situations elsewhere, and clearly, neither has my 'reader/commenter.'



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