Major development for community hockey in Canterbury

Young hockey players of Canterbury will soon be able to play on surfaces good enough for the Black Sticks thanks to a $393,400 grant from New Zealand Community Trust.

Two of Nunweek Park’s sand-based turfs owned and maintained by the Canterbury Artificial Surfaces Trust (CAST) are to be updated to modern water-based surfaces along with new lighting, fencing and drainage.

The two turfs were laid in 2012 following the loss of two water based turfs at Porritt Park. Since then, the turfs at Nunweek Park have been a seven-days-a-week home to the region’s 6,000 hockey players, with up to 100 games and 50-60 training sessions taking place there each week.

But with their heavy use, the turfs are now in a poor state and are becoming unsafe to play on. The $2.7m upgrade is being funded from CAST reserves and with the support of a range of community funders including the $393k grant from NZCT.

“We’ve squeezed every last minute out of these two sand turfs, and they are now past their ‘use by’ dates. These new generation turfs will be a giant step forward for the future growth of community hockey in Canterbury. We’re incredibly grateful for the amazing support provided by NZCT and our other funders. The future is looking bright for hockey in the region.”
CAST Chair Selwyn Maister

Former Black Stick and current NZCT trustee Lesley Murdoch was delighted with the grant “I can only wish my generation had facilities like those planned for Nunweek Park. It’s fantastic to be able to give young players a surface as good as those played on at the Olympics. It will greatly improve their development, provide enjoyment and fun.”

New Zealand Community Trust Chief Executive Mike Knell said, “We’re delighted to be able to help modernise Nunweek Park, especially for Canterbury’s young players. I am sure parents will enjoy the water surfaces’ kinder treatment of their children’s elbows and knees.”

“We’re only able to make grants like this through the support of our venues in Canterbury and the people who patronize them. Together we are helping thousands of people in Canterbury to stay active for years to come.”

The two new water turfs will add to another sand-based turf already in place. Work is expected to start in late September 2022 and be completed by March 2023.

Photos of Players kindly supplied by Geoff Soper. The cover photo is Kwikstiks at Nunweek Park 2021. The Aerial Photo 2017 was kindly supplied by CMG Sport.