Legacy of FIFA Women’s World Cup lives on in Manurewa

Publish Date : 10 Nov 2023
Unity Pitch At Manurewa

The legacy of this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup will live on in Manurewa through a partnership between FIFA and Auckland Council which will see a brand-new half football pitch installed at the suburb’s netball centre. The pitch is a replica of the Unity Pitch that football fans used at The Cloud in the central city during the tournament. 

The partnership saw Auckland Council receive the new pitch to become an anchor feature in the south Auckland community for residents – particularly the young – to enjoy and play sport on. 

Mayor Wayne Brown said the Unity Pitch is a great example of a partnership which leaves a legacy for Aucklanders. 

“The FIFA Women’s World Cup was a showcase for Auckland. Beyond the tournament itself, we have been able to reinvest into many of our clubs and community facilities, which will be a legacy for a generation to follow.” 

The new pitch for Netball Manurewa was brokered by Matt Winiata, the Deputy Chairperson of the Manurewa Local Board.  

“I congratulate FIFA not only on the tournament but also on its promise to struggling and marginalised communities around the globe in providing inspiration and exposure to the sport. 

“The pitch will be a colourful and vibrant asset to Manurewa and will not only be enjoyed by those who already love the beautiful game but will inspire thousands more to get active and try out football and futsal,” Mr Winiata says. 

“I’m grateful that FIFA provided the opportunity for Manurewa to be home to this amazing legacy item from the Women’s World Cup.” 

Manurewa-Papakura Ward Councillor Daniel Newman, who is also the Deputy Chairperson of the Wiri Licensing Trust, said the cost of installing and maintaining the pitch at Netball Manurewa will not fall to either the council or Netball Manurewa. 

“The Unity Pitch has an asset life of approximately seven years. What we have done, in partnership with a third-party funder, is meet the cost of the Unity Pitch so it can be enjoyed by Aucklanders but at no cost to our ratepayers.

“I am very pleased with this outcome, it is a great legacy for lovers of the beautiful game and an example of collaboration between FIFA, the council, Netball Manurewa and the Wiri Licensing Trust.” 

Left to right: Councillor Daniel Newman, Briar Martindale, Manurewa Local Board Chair Glenn Murphy, Manurewa Local Board Deputy Chair Matt Winiata.

Briar Martindale, General Manager of Manurewa Netball says she’s thrilled with the new pitch. 

“The Unity Pitch is a welcome and exiting addition to the Manurewa Netball Community & Events Centre. It will provide more opportunities for local rangatahi to be active, get involved in sport and participate in community football activities. 

“We really appreciate the hard work of all the parties involved in securing the Unity Pitch for the South Auckland community, particularly Manurewa Local Board deputy chair Matt Winiata, Councillor Daniel Newman, Alex Overwater-Davis from Auckland Council, Brian Blake from Venue Solutions and the awesome team at Trillian Trust.”  

FIFA’s Chief Operating Officer New Zealand Jane Patterson said she’s pleased the new pitch will be enjoyed by the Manurewa community.

“Tens of thousands of footballers of all ages have enjoyed the Unity Pitch during its travels around Aotearoa New Zealand and we are excited that girls and boys in Manurewa will have a football pitch to enjoy for many years to come.

“The FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand has been an overwhelming success and the Unity Pitch played a major role in bringing the event to the community. We are pleased that the legacy of this tournament will be visible and accessible every day in Manurewa.”

Another Auckland community also has a legacy to enjoy from the FIFA World Cup, with the original Unity Pitch, being gifted to Beach Haven Primary School. 

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