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83% support Whanganui velodrome stadium funding

4 Aug 20

83% support Whanganui velodrome stadium funding
Copeland Architects' cut-away view of the proposed Whanganui velodrome stadium

A new poll shows Whanganui district residents overwhelmingly want the Government to approve a $26.3 million  application to fund a velodrome stadium.

The new stadium is short listed for shovel-ready project funding and will create the lower North Islnad's largest covered concert, events and sports venue.

The Government is expected to make a decision on the application, made by Whanganui District Council, in August 2020.

Now a poll, funded by the independent Regional Velodrome Development Trust (RVDT), finds

  • 83% want the government to approve the application
  • 8% say reject it, while
  • 9% say they are not sure.

The Horizon Research survey found support rose to 84% among ratepayers.

RVDT chair Leigh Grant said in a statement the survey confirms overwhelming community support for the development as part of the effort to create economic growth and jobs in response to COVID-19 economic damage.

Updated data on the project shows it will  deliver

  • 6000 covered seat capacity, the largest indoor capacity in the Lower North Island
  • 100 construction jobs
  • 500 other new jobs
  • Capacity to host 31 sports, cultural and concert events
  • 24% more visitors
  • $176 million net economic benefit over 10 years

Mr Grant says the survey is being used in a major effort by district and other leaders to ask the Government to acknowledge the project’s benefits and community backing – and fund it.

Whanganui District Councillor Philippa Baker-Hogan, the council’s  Sports and Recreation Chair, who sponsored the application to Government, says there is a compelling case for the investment.

“It will not only deliver capacity to host 31 sports, community and other events, but spark a new  event industry in the city and region.

“All but one resource consent is already in place – and the project is truly shovel-ready,” she says.

“Comparatively, the district, its neighbouring regions and the country will get a huge return on this investment. I’m delighted that so many in leadership roles are now joining an effort to assure the Government this is an immensely well-backed and worthwhile investment.”

The Horizon Research online survey was conducted between July 22 and 27, 2020. It has 418 respondents. Results are weighted by age and gender to match 18+ 2018 Census population for the Whanganui District Council area. At a 95% confidence level, the maximum overall margin of error ± 4.9%