Tairāwhiti Indoor Centre Rally

Coaches, players, whānau, friends, members of the community, clubs and codes all gathered on Thursday to have their voices heard en masse, and this was captured by various media outlets. 

Hundreds of people attended the rally to advocate for a multi-court indoor centre here in Tairāwhiti.  

The rally was organised by the Tairāwhiti Indoor Centre Advocacy Group. The facilitators on the night were Gisborne Basketball Association Commitee Member, Adrian Sparks and Whiti Ora Chief Executive, Stefan Pishief. 

“For decades attempts have been made to establish an indoor centre here in Tūranganui-a-Kiwa without success” said Whiti Ora Chief Executive Stefan Pishief. 

“The situation is critical and as a community we can no longer wait. The well-being of our people needs to be prioritised as part of our region’s recovery, with an indoor centre also presenting opportunities for wider economic benefit.” 

Guest speakers representing various codes included Camille Collier from basketball, Adam Harford from volleyball, Miah Nikora from rugby, Shelley Duncan from pickleball, Krystal Kemp from netball, and Lee Smith from football. Lytton High School Principal Wiremu Elliot also spoke on behalf of the education sector, and Charlotte Gibson spoke on behalf of Kapa Haka. 

All of the codes expressed how the growth of their clubs are halted because they cannot cater to the demand they are facing. People miss out on participating, programme offerings are limited, and codes can’t host large scale tournaments that would bring in people from outside the region. 

“We know if we had an indoor facility, international and inter-regional games could be right on our doorstep” said Gisborne Netball Centre Game Development Officer Krystal Kemp. 

“How awesome would that be for not only our tamariki but for all who are involved in sport to be inspired? It’s hard for our community to travel out and experience live ANZ and international games. Having an indoor facility can bring those big games to inspire and support the development of our community.” 

Wiremu Elliott mentioned the vital link between education and keeping tamariki active. He also spoke about the influence that people have as individuals to share with their own networks and build more advocacy around the indoor centre. 

Charlotte Gibson spoke about the rich history and massive success of Kapa Haka in Tairāwhiti, but also the limitations experienced through current venue capacity. Tamararo, the country’s longest-running regional kapa haka competition, has been hosted previously at outside venues, but only if weather permitted. 

The current state of the facilities in the region are almost non-existent, aren’t fit for purpose and are in dire need of an upgrade. It needs attention and to be addressed so that people can have more opportunities to be active and healthy through quality experiences. 

“Let’s stop having ambulances at the bottom of the cliff and build a stadium at the top” said Gisborne Basketball Association Commitee Member Adrian Sparks. 

A feasibility study is currently underway that the Gisborne District Council commissioned with the support of key partners. This study will evaluate the potential of establishing a new regional Indoor Multipurpose Centre in Tairāwhiti.  

Have your say on the Tairāwhiti Indoor Multipurpose Centre feasibility study through the online survey on the following link surveymonkey.com/r/tairawhiti_IMC_feasibility 

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