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Source: Auckland Council

With improved facilities on the way for Pukekohe’s Bledisloe Park, a similar upgrade has been confirmed for Te Puru Park at Beachlands.

Growing player numbers have put pressure on the area’s sports grounds and the project will increase usable hours by improving lighting Te Puru, the increase in floodlit areas taking some pressure off other facilities, such as the Beachlands and Whitford domains.

Franklin Local Board Deputy Chair Angela Fulljames says the upgrade went on hold in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and was projected not to begin until the 2024 financial year.

“But some great work from our people meant work to progress the design, consents and tender docs was done, and with budget secured, we are able to revive the project.

“That will see physical works for the lighting taking place in the near future, and that will be very welcome news for park users in the area,” she says.

Fellow Wairoa subdivision representative Malcolm Bell says the exact dates have yet to be confirmed but all work will be able to be done outside the marked playing fields.

“All site works will be fully-fenced and some car-parking will be used for storage, but because the lighting poles will also have amenity lights for the footpath and carpark, safety will be improved.”

A new transformer will be needed and will be future-proofed to allow for more growth, and new LED lights for the existing poles and netball courts are also being investigated, with that work dependent on tender pricing.

It is envisaged that all the work will be completed by May.

Board Chair Andy Baker says COVID-19 significantly impacted the city and local communities.

“We were hit hard because more than half of Auckland Council’s revenue comes from sources other than rates, and that funding fell dramatically.

“But a lot of people have worked hard to secure funding to make improvements at Te Puru possible, and we are pleased the work will go ahead because the park is the sporting heart of the area.

“We want to have a healthy community that gets out there and stays fit and active. For that to happen we have to make sure we have good facilities.”

A similar project at a third park, the No 2 ground at Growers Stadium, is also planned.

MIL OSI