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Players of the Day - candidates agreed to review of sport facility costs

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Those entering the line-up for 2022 local body elections in the Wellington region must face the issue at the top of mind for sports club members and parents of children playing school sport.

Will they allow sport to become more affordable, or will they let cost bar participation?

Campaign group Affordable Sports for Greater Wellington is asking council candidates in Wellington, Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt, Porirua and Kāpiti to commit to a review of sport facility fees.

"For elected members, this is a small action that will have a great outcome for our communities," group spokesperson Bryan Dickinson says.

"We’d like to thank the commitment from candidates who have agreed so far, they’re our players of the day."

Candidates who have agreed to organise a review if elected to their council so far are:

- Paul Eagle (WCC)

- Karen Morgan (HCC)

- Tory Whanau (WCC)

- Wayne Guppy (UHCC)

- Tamatha Paul (WCC)

- Angela McLeod (UHCC)

- Nicola Young (WCC)

- Martin Halliday (KCDC)

- Ben McNulty (WCC)

- Lachlan Patterson (WCC)

"We’re asking for a review to find fair and equitable ways to charge sports for using public facilities," Mr Dickinson says.

"Currently we only see facility costs that are set by user charges rising. That makes the price of taking part in sport go up."

Wellington City Council’s user charges are set at 15% for sports fields and 25% for indoor facilities, but the unclear ways those are applied to regional sport operators can have unintended consequences, says Mr Dickinson.

"Councils need to provide more clarity on how those charges are applied across facilities and how they determine the balance of charges for sports.

"In uncovering how facility costs are recovered, a review could find ways to keep fees from rising, or even lower them in some cases."

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