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Mount Maunganui’s Links Ave Reserve to get artificial football turf using NZ-first material

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An impression of the artificial turf that will be installed at Links Ave Reserve. Image / Tauranga City Council

An artificial, carbon-neutral football turf has been announced for Tauranga as part of plans to revamp Links Avenue Reserve.

Tauranga City Council said today that the turf material had been proven overseas and would be a first for New Zealand.

The council announced late last year that the reserve would be upgraded, meaning the Mount Maunganui Dog Training Club would need to move.

Links Ave Reserve is also home to Tauranga City AFC.

Council spaces and places manager Alison Law said in the statement that artificial turf would help “city-wide pressures by bolstering football field capacity year-round”.

“Football’s popularity in Tauranga and the wider Bay of Plenty region is soaring, necessitating investments like these to meet the escalating demand.

“This initiative aims to cater to existing and future football needs, foster talent development initiatives and encourage greater community involvement.”

Tauranga City AFC chairman and FC Tauranga Moana trustee Brendon McHugh said in the statement that the project would support the region’s growing requirements in grassroots, talent development and premier football.

He said Tauranga City AFC was the only Bay of Plenty side in the Men’s National League, the FC Tauranga Moana women’s side was aiming to reach the female equivalent and its youth teams played in the national youth league against some of the best in the country.

“This investment aligns with our club’s strategic vision of reinstating male and female National League football to the region while bolstering grassroots football initiatives.

“The artificial turf will also unlock more football activity options, which the whole community can benefit from.”

The turf will be made using fibres from sugar cane, rather than petroleum derivatives and microplastics. It will be compostable after use.

The council said it was working with stakeholders, including the dog training club, Pāpāmoa Football Club and Tauranga City AFC, to “ensure successful implementation and address any pertinent concerns”.

Links Ave Reserve project timeline

  • Enabling works to establish a car park will start next month.
  • Field works are slated to start in October.
  • The reserve will be ready to use for the 2025 football season.
  • Source: Tauranga City Council

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