Venues: Building better together to help solve Taranaki facility challenges

Friday, Jun 07 2024

Venues: Building better together to help solve Taranaki facility challenges

Andrew Moffat

There is great potential in Taranaki to solve pressing challenges by working together across the community, the new independent chair of the Taranaki Facilities Consortium says.

Andrew Turner chaired his first meeting of the Consortium in Hāwera recently as part of a two-day visit meeting key funders and council representatives around the region.

The Taranaki Facilities Consortium (TFC) is underpinned by the Collaborating for Active Spaces & Places Strategy, includes nine partners focussed on supporting the development of quality sport, active recreation and play facilities. It aims to foster collaboration, accessibility and sustainability in facility planning development.

Turner, as an experienced governance professional with a focus on economic development, was drawn to the role by its potential for positive impact. Serving as a community board member, councillor, and deputy mayor in Christchurch in the aftermath of the earthquakes, he has experienced the power of community partnerships first hand. The large-scale destruction caused by the earthquakes created a need to repair, rebuild and replace facilities, with projects and partnerships spanning multiple sporting codes, facilities providers, councils, central government, and philanthropic funding partners.

“We really were working on partnership projects on a grand scale, making sure that we took the opportunity not just to build back, but to build back better.”

The potential of the TFC to help co-ordinate projects is also very significant and the group wants to work alongside projects early, ideally when they are at the concept stage. Projects working with the TFC benefit from strategic advice on potential partners and the shape of the project. They are also then on the radar of potential funders, he says.

“I think it’s really exciting - this is really about how when people work together, we can achieve so much more. In an environment where there is limited funding and great need, this is the way that we are really going to get maximum benefit for the community.”

Turner, who stepped down from local body politics in 2022, is currently also the Chair of Te Toi Mahana, Wellington City Council’s Community Housing Trust, and is Independent Chair of SmartGrowth, the Western Bay of Plenty’s Urban Development Partnership. Having an independent chair in place helps bring together the strengths of different organisations with a fresh perspective and no preconceptions, he says.

“There are some huge opportunities to create hubs, and for sporting codes, facilities providers and funders to come together and to work in a co-ordinated way. I do see great opportunity here.” Learn more about the Taranaki Facilities Consortium here: