Neale Park and Guppy Park (bottom) is where FC Nelson and Nelson Rugby Club play the majority of their games, but both clubs say the pitch is not up to standard. Photo: Toby Harvey/Eagle Imaging.
Neale Park and Guppy Park. Photo: Toby Harvey/Eagle Imaging.

New sport and rec committee get to work


The newly-formed Nelson City Council sports and recreation committee met for the first time on Thursday.

Chaired by second-term councillor Tim Skinner, it is the very first committee formed in recent history specifically dedicated to focus on sports and recreation in Nelson.

The committee was first mooted by mayor Rachel Reese back in March, but she backed down from the idea two months later after resistance from some councillors.

Now with a new term, and fresh faces, the committee, which includes Rachel Reese, Mike Rutledge [deputy chair], Ian Barker, Mel Courtney, Kate Fulton, Brian McGurk and Stuart Walker, is in full swing.

Tim says a committee specifically dedicated to focus on sports and recreation will be a point of contact and a “listening ear” for residents and sporting groups.

“Prior to this, sports and recreation matters were included under the very broad umbrella of the community services committee and there had been a very strong request from the community, sporting clubs and organisations for this committee to exist over the last council term,” he says.

The committee is also more than just about formal sports – it encompasses reserves, parks, camps, walkways, contemplative places, recreational cycleways, as well as both formal and informal sports and leisure activities.

Another thing Tim would like to see happen is the installation of an artificial football pitch at Neale Park or Saxton, saying it would help take the pressure off struggling football pitches in Nelson.

Also, with a boom of new and growing sports clubs in Nelson, providing more club rooms is high on the agenda.