Basin Reserve Trust Gives Green Light

BASIN RESERVE’S HISTORY, CHARACTER AND INTERNATIONAL STATUS IS ‘FUTURE PROOFED’

A state of the art new pavilion across the northern end of the Basin Reserve will mitigate the historic cricket ground from the impacts of new roading infrastructure and future proof the ground with desperately needed new updated player dressing rooms, facilities and viewing platforms, says the Basin Reserve Trust.

The three-level structure will extend from the existing players viewing box (attached to the Vance Stand) along 65 metres to the start of the embankment and will block out the impacts of the proposed New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) flyover and grade separated interchange around the Basin Reserve.

The Basin Reserve Trust, which administers the Basin, includes cricketing personalities Doug Catley (chair), former NZ and Wellington cricketer Cr John Morrison, cricket historian Don Neely and former chief executive of the ANZ Bank and NZ Cricket Chairman Sir John Anderson. Mr Catley is presently in the United Kingdom following the Black Caps.

The Basin Reserve Trust has negotiated the pavilion’s design over three or four years and now that agreement has been reached, it will support NZTA in its resource consent application for the wider roading project later this year.

The new road, which is part of SH1, will connect to a second tunnel through Mount Victoria and unblock traffic congestion for southern and eastern suburb commuters, airport travellers and trucks carrying freight to and from the airport. It is part of an $800 million Ngauranga to Airport Corridor Plan upgrade that will generate 2000 new jobs in the Capital. The pavilion’s construction will add another 150 jobs for Wellington.

Mr Neely said the Basin was set aside as a cricket ground in 1857 and had faced numerous challenges every 30 or 40 years.

“In negotiating this arrangement with NZTA, The Basin Reserve Trust had to be totally convinced the overbridge would not impact on the ground’s international status, history and the special character of the Basin, which is recognised as one of the world’s top 10 cricket grounds,” he said.

He said the Basin Reserve Trust never lost sight of the fact they were representing a significant part of Wellington’s past and future sporting heritage, but at the end of the day the proposed pavilion “ticked all the boxes”, Mr Neely said.

“We have been under increasing pressure from the International Cricket Council to upgrade and modernise facilities, changing rooms to accommodate bigger squads with big support staff, medical rooms, dining rooms etc or risk losing our International status,” Cr Morrison said.

“The existing Basin changing rooms and warm-up areas that were designed and built 30 years ago are simply not adequate.

“The new pavilion means we have future-proofed the Basin with state-of-the-art facilities and it also means we can use the Basin for a lot more winter sports which is our intention, including rugby, football or AFL games,” Cr Morrison said.

The chairman of Enterprise Miramar Peninsula, veterinarian Allan Probert, said the number one priority for businesses in the Eastern Suburbs was solving the roading issues.

“It’s absolutely vital we get the roading issues resolved and the new pavilion is another step in achieving this. Extending the runway is part of the big picture, but it goes hand-in-hand with the roading improvements. Miramar Peninsula businesses want to get things moving and we’ll be supporting the resource consent application,” Mr Probert said.

The executive director of the New Zealand Taxi Federation and an eastern suburbs resident Tim Reddish said the roading improvements were good news for public transport operators like Wellington’s taxi companies and for travellers using the airport.

“A good clear run through the Basin Reserve bottleneck will make taxis more cost-effective and speed up the service times. It will also reduce stress for people who like to cut it fine when catching a plane,” Mr Reddish said.

Wellington Combined Taxis chief executive Lynne Hayman said the taxi meters run a dollar a minute, so it would not be uncommon for $10 to $15 to be added to the fare during peak times when the Basin roundabout was at a standstill.

Tim Brown, director of Wellington Airport and Go Wellington Buses and a frequent cricket spectator at the Basin, said NZTA deserved full credit for the overall package, which included widespread engagement with the public and stakeholders, recognising and preserving the Basin’s special characteristics and designing the plaza-pedestrian area at the northern end of the Basin.

“The Greens say it will take 5 minutes off the trip, but there’s actually a lot more productive time that’s lost,” Mr Brown said. “Traffic delays up to 45 minutes mean that people can’t afford to take the risk of being 45 minutes late for their plane or getting to work.

“So they always leave 45 minutes early just in case there’s a delay, but nine times out of ten they get a clear run and they end up sitting round doing nothing,” Mr Brown said.

For further information or interviews contact:
Cr John Morrison Tel 027 289 6894
Allan Probert Tel 027 241 4393
Tim Reddish Tel 027 540 0888
Lynne Hayman Tel 021 244 1848
Tim Brown Tel 027 441 5460

Released by Iain Morrison from Morrison McDougall Tel 021 688 668 on behalf of the Basin Reserve Trust.

More Images of the new pavilion available from Anthony Frith Tel 027 213 7617 ANTHONY.frith@nzta.govt.nz

 

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