Howick and Pakuranga Times
Botany and Ormiston Times : Howick and Botany Times Monday December 22 2014
www.times.co.nz Howick and Botany Times, Monday, December 22, 2014 — 15 Light up Auckland with your generosity. Text ANGEL to 305 for a $3 donation. ACM0003T1 By Marianne Kelly and Daniel Silverton A MULTIMILLION-dollar water sports facility to be built on the Tamaki River at Highbrook is a step closer after receiving funding from the Howick Local Board. At its monthly meeting on December 8, the board approved a contribution of up to $100,000 from its Facility Partnership fund for the $1.939 million project planned by the Auckland Rowing Association, in partnership with the Auckland Region Outrigger Canoe Association and Canoe Rac- ing New Zealand. The facility will be located at Digby Point within the Highbrook Business Park, at the corner of Lady Fisher Place and Waiouru Road, and will incorporate an existing 2000-metre course for primarily training, as well as com- petitive regattas. “It will be all-tide, and with it being on a corner of the river, it doesn’t matter what the prevailing wind is, you can row one way or the other,” says Auck- land Rowing Associa- tion committee member Murdoch Dryden. “We don’t have many stretches of water like that in Auckland. “It will be the only public rowing course on this [south] side of the Tamaki River. “It is more of a training course than a race course. “It will be great for training; it gives you distance to pace out and trial over.” Stage one includes site works to create a car parking area, a retain- ing wall between the cliff top and riverbank, a waterfront platform and boat ramp. Stages two and three, expected to cost an additional $4.475m, will add a pontoon and buildings. When finished, it will provide an alternative venue for the Auckland Rowing Association’s high per- formance athletes, along with Hobsonville Point in the west. The Auckland Coun- cil’s central facility partnership funding committee – made up of the Maungakiekie Tamaki, Orakei, Puke- tapapa, Albert Eden, Waitemata, Great Barrier and Waiheke Island Local Boards – has also committed $400,000 to the initial phase of the project. The other southern local boards, except Papakura, which does not have access to the facility partner- ship fund, have committed a total $145,000, contingent upon the Howick Local Board’s support. Highbrook Park Trust, which is administering the land before it’s vested to the council next August, and Goodman New Zealand, developer of the business park, are partners in the river project. The land falls within the bound- aries of the Howick and Otara Pap- atoetoe wards and the intention of the project is to open up water access to the Tamaki River to areas south of the city. Increased participation and promotion of youth activity is expected to result. For example, Saint Kentigern College has indi- cated that its rowing teams would use the facility. Resource consent has been obtained, with funding from Goodman, and construction will begin upon sourcing the remaining financial support. “[The timeline] will be very funding dependent,” says Mr Dryden. “Pub Charity has made a pretty significant contribution to date, and the Auckland Rowing Association is going through a fun- draising process. “I’d like to think it would be between three and 10 years [for the finished product].” Water centre nears start gate The concept plan for the regional water sports facility to be built on the Tamaki River at Highbrook. Image supplied / Jasmax MURDOCH DRYDEN Oversupply of Halberg contenders OPINION, by Daniel Silverton THERE needs to be a limit on how many nominations each sport can make for the Halberg Awards. A total of 80 nominees across six categories were received for the next Halberg ceremony, up from 58 last year. The candidates are put forward by national sporting bodies, to be whittled down to finalists by a judging panel made up of 30 former athletes and media representatives. Some sports organisations can be accused of flooding the field by submitting an absurdly high number of entries. Cycling NZ, for example, has outsourced the decision-making about who their top performers are to the Halberg judges. In the sportsman of the year category, seven of the 19 contenders are cyclists. The men’s pursuit and sprint teams have also both been nominated for team of the year, when one has clearly had a better year. The pursuit team won bronze at the world championships and Commonwealth Games, while the sprinters took out the gold at both events. Likewise Rowing NZ, which has entered six crews into team of the year, along with four nominations for coach of the year. If each national body, supposedly full of the most knowledgeable people in their respective sports, can’t figure out who their best and brightest are, how is the judging panel, which at most contains two or three experts in each code, supposed to? The glut of contenders from the likes of cycling and rowing reeks of a touchy-feely, everyone’s done well philosophy, which has no place at the highest level of sport. Cap the number of nominees per sport at two, and let the judges’ efforts go into choosing the winners, not narrowing down the finalists.
Howick and Botany Times Wednesday December 17 2014
Howick and Botany Times Thursday January 8 2015