Adding playing hours to Unsworth park

Publish Date : 22 Sep 2022
Adding playing hours to Unsworth park
Lisa Whyte and Margaret Miles turn the first sod after the area was blessed ahead of physical works at Caribbean Drive sports fields.

Better facilities are on the way for Upper Harbour footballers and baseballers.

The Caribbean Drive sports fields were blessed ahead of physical works to upgrade the park, improve facilities and increase the number of playing hours.

Upper Harbour Local board members and Auckland Council staff attended a blessing conducted by Jade Davis and Malcolm Davis from the council’s Parks and Community Facilities Māori Outcomes Unit on 22 September.

Funded by the Northern Corridor Improvements Fund, the $3 million dollar project includes a sand carpeted football field, designated training area, new baseball diamond with backstop fence, toilet facility, upgraded car park, irrigation, and lighting. The upgrade will take approximately nine months to complete.

Upper Harbour Local Board Chair Lisa Whyte says the project has been on the radar for many years and is timed to finish before the 2023 football season starts.

“The region’s growth means the heavy demand on fields will continue to increase. We all know the benefits that sport brings, not only physical but also in building a sense of belonging and community.

“And this is a community that has experienced significant disruption in recent years due to the northern corridor improvements. So, it is exciting that new facilities are being built that are fit for purpose.

“Lights will allow the fields to be used more often and for longer. Better irrigation and sand-carpeting makes the fields better equipped to cope with winter rain.”

What’s planned

Studies undertaken by the council in 2017 and 2018 identified a shortfall of football and baseball facilities in the local board area.

Plans include:

  • a sand carpeted football field and designated training area
  • a senior baseball diamond with full-size backstop fence
  • a sealed car park with parking for 35 cars
  • a fully accessible toilet facility
  • seven new lighting towers around the sports field and training area.

The local community were consulted on the final design which led to the field upgrades in the park’s northern area being prioritised.

Construction period

During the construction period, the car park and fields are closed except for a section of the number two sports field which is open. Next door at Unsworth Reserve; the playground, basketball court, fitness equipment and walking tracks are open.

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