To accommodate our city’s rapid growth, we must provide sufficient sports, recreation, and cultural facilities to improve living standards. We’ve embarked upon a programme of work that considers the multiple opportunities for community sport, recreation, events and high-performance training across Tauranga’s network of active reserves. As part of this process, we’ve developed an integrated set of outline master plan that can guide short, medium and long-term investments by Council. The master plan for Blake Park is being done simultaneously and in coordination with Baypark and Tauranga Domain to allow for a coordinated and integrated approach to optimising our space. We have a holistic and cohesive vision to bring together our tailored active reserves to benefit all our unique user groups.
The vision for Blake Park is that its role as a premier community and high-performance field sports centre evolves and continues to thrive. A key benefit of the master plan and its key moves is that it allows the field space to meet growing and competing demands, and significantly enhances the scope and quality of facilities for community sports clubs and high-performance sports training and events.
How Blake Park is currently used
Blake Park is a major multi-use active reserve and one of our biggest and most used shared spaces. It’s currently the city-wide/regional base for hockey, netball, junior rugby and cricket. It also features the only speed climbing wall in the country which is looked after by the BOP Climbing Association.
International-standard sporting facilities provided on the park include cricket at the Bay Oval, hockey at the Tauranga Hockey Centre and croquet at the Mount Greens Sports site. The University of Waikato Adams Centre for High Performance (HP) is adjacent to the park, with users such as the NZ Rugby Sevens teams and Bay of Plenty Steamers regularly using the park for training purposes.
Proposed changes and benefits
Blake Park could become a world-class facility over time. The proposed future focus is to create a field sports hub for community and high-performance sport, with a secondary focus on events by relocating the netball centre to Baypark. Space optimisation and enhanced facilities underpin the benefits of these proposed changes.
the benefits include:
- Community and high-performance cricket will benefit from an additional cricket oval and a new pavilion location is under discussion.
- The Mount Tennis Cub will benefit from additional dedicated tennis courts all year.
- Community and high-performance rugby are both provided with additional field space and improved turf quality.
- The Mount Sports Club will look to expand their facility to include three additional squash courts.
- Tauranga Hockey is proposed to develop an additional half-turf training pitch and new clubroom facilities.
- Additional formalised carparking will be created at the Hull Road end of the park and at the Kawaka Street end, with the intention that there will be sufficient parking availability during busy event days. Multi-modal access will improve with planned interventions on Totara Street and Maunganui Road.
- Improvements to entranceways, pathways, planting and cultural storytelling with enhance the overall experience of the park.
- Events will continue to be held, where they are consistent with the vision for the park, or where they do not significantly disrupt regular agreed use.
Working with the community
A high-level blueprint for Blake Park has been developed to create a space that could see this park become a world-class facility.
This plan has been based on early conversations with key sporting clubs and organisations (including the netball centre, tennis club, BOP Rugby and local cricket, squash and netball clubs) to create a more connected, strategic approach to investment decisions, overall utilisation and optimisation of current and future facilities on the park. As part of this plan, we’re proposing the relocate the netball centre and netball club to Baypark to enable more fields to be installed for other sporting codes such as cricket, rugby and touch. We continue to work closely with these groups, listening to their concerns and questions, discussing the options, and keeping them informed prior to any decisions being made.