There are new changing rooms and toilets at Grey Lynn Park following the completion of a long-standing project to bring the facilities up to standard.
Waitematā Local Board provided direction to the concept design of the new facilities which was consulted on with the Richmond Rovers Rugby League Club. The club has operated out of the park since 1914.
Situated in the middle of the top field, the new facilities include four changing rooms – with six showers and a toilet in each room – two public toilets, a pair of referee rooms and three areas dedicated to equipment storage. The old athletics building and old toilet block have been demolished, freeing up more green space in the park.
Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei elders blessed the new building at an official opening this month, attended by representatives of Waitematā Local Board, the Richmond Rovers Rugby League Club, Auckland Council and Waitematā and Gulf Councillor Pippa Coom.
Waitematā Local Board chair Richard Northey spoke at the opening acknowledging those before him who had advocated for, and then spearheaded, the development of the new facilities.
“The hard work and negotiations were carried out by the members of previous Waitematā Local Boards chaired by Shale Chambers and then Pippa Coom. A great deal of credit rests with them.
“We’re thrilled that the Richmond Rovers now have facilities befitting their contribution to the community. They have built and maintained a club with a proud history, one that has always been an important part of this community and its sporting life,” he said.
Waitematā and Gulf Councillor Pippa Coom said she was delighted to be at the opening of the long standing project.
“Finding the budget, agreeing on the site and design, and delivering the project hasn’t always been easy but credit to former board chair Shale Chambers, all former board members involved with the project, staff and contractors and of course the club for staying the course to deliver a fantastic new facility,” she said.
Richmond Rovers chairperson Gus Fepuleai thanked Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei for blessing the new building along with Waitematā Local Board, Auckland Council and others who had contributed over the years.
“Our club has been standing for 107 years this year and this has been a long time coming. It’s great to see it finally complete,” he said.
Auckland Rugby League chief executive officer Greg Whaiapu said players and club members were excited to have the facilities ready for the start of the 2021 season.