Recreation Aoetearoa Big Day Out

Recreation Aoetearoa Big Day Out highlights exceptional sport and recreation projects

On Friday, March 1 a selection of sport and recreation community leaders from around the region attended the Recreation Aoetearoa Big Day Out hosted by Sport Whanganui and the Whanganui District Council.

The interactive session was a huge success with an objective to share experiences and challenges in recent sport and recreation accomplishments.

On behalf of the sport and recreation community Sport Whanganui’s General Manager Adam Gosney and Whanganui District Council’s Sport and Recreation Advisor Keith Smith put together a stimulating agenda for the day encompassing a group of presenters championing various sport and recreation successes across the Whanganui region.

Whanganui District Council’s General Manager Leighton Toy initiated the day with an engaging presentation on the recent Masters Games event. Emphasis was put on naming rights sponsor Downer, the economic impact the games brought to Whanganui, connectivity between the Masters Games headquarters and the community and the value of the volunteers who were the life of the games. Leighton also briefly touched on the Velodrome outlining the next steps to which includes engagement of a consultancy firm to compete a quality needs assessment.

The Mountains to Sea suspension bridge was another key achievement co presented by Sport Whanganui’s Community Sport Advisor Jimmy Hildreth and Whanganui District Council’s Park Advisor Rick Grobecker. Discussion points included the funding process, community engagement, NZ Cycle Way scheme and the infrastructure challenges endured throughout the journey.

Whanganui District Council’s Parks Manager, Wendy Bainbridge spoke on the popular swimming spot Mosquito Point and the return of the legendary swing after an absence of two years. Wendy guided the audience through the public engagement process calling for the return of the swing and the new and improved structure and safety requirements.

Sport Whanganui’s General Manager Adam Gosney led an extensive presentation on the Manawatu – Whanganui regional Facility Plan. Emphasis was put on the power of collaboration from central and local government, sport, funding, education and health sectors to develop the plan. “It was a great opportunity to have an interactive session with some of the sport and recreation leaders from across the central north island, the journey and complexity in establishing the facilities plan directly aligned with the theme of the day”, says Adam Sport Whanganui’s General Manager.

The recently built Community Sports House at Springvale Park was another great venture led by Sport Whanganui to which Adam Gosney also spoke to. The development is the number one recommendation of the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Sport Facility Plan with the intention of creating a “home of sport” resulting in long term benefits as well as immediate opportunities for the community.

Sport Whanganui’s Community Sport Manager Jodie Brunger spoke on the recently complete Community Bike Park recognizing key contributors, endorsing the power of working together to create and achieve locally owned visions and goals. Community consultation was another important driver in the completion of the park intensively discussed.

Norman Greubsch from Whanganui District Council’s Infrastructure Group presented on the success and bright future of the Te Tuiaiwi Cycle Corridor development. This venture has been fantastic for Whanganui with six more cycle corridor prospects approved to be completed. Currently Whanganui has 12 kilometers of urban cycle way with further expansion to come – watch this space.

Overall the Recreation Aoetearoa Big Day Out was a great success capturing the vibrant and ever developing sport and recreation projects across the region. Sport Whanganui and the Whanganui District Council would like to thank everyone who contributed towards the success of the day. To find out more about Recreation Aoetearoa visit www.