Regional Spaces and Places (Facilities) Plan

The Regional Spaces and Places Plan was signed off by the region’s Mayors at the end of 2019.

The purpose of this plan is to provide a high-level strategic framework for future regional sports facility planning and optimisation of the current network. The plan emphasises a one-region approach to planning for international, national, regional and sub-regional facilities and provides context for local planning and decision-making about local facilities.

The plan responds to the findings of the Wellington Region Spaces and Places project which provides a stocktake of current assets that make up the regional network of facilities.  The project also includes analysis of existing national and regional facility strategies and available participation and population data sourced predominantly from councils, schools, and regional sport organisations.

Part of the context for this work is provided by the facilities approach taken by Sport NZ. The New Zealand Sporting Facilities Framework identified that nationally we have:

  • gaps and duplications in facility provision
  • facilities that are not fit-for-purpose
  • facilities that we cannot afford
  • many facilities due for replacement.


A snapshot of what we have learned about the state of the current regional facility network.


  1. In general, the region does not have many facility gaps. However, it does have capacity issues in key
    locations, at peak times, and for certain facility types such as indoor court spaces and specialised indoor
    venues such as those used for gym sports (amongst others). For some sports experiencing declining
    numbers there is an over-provision of facilities e.g. tennis, bowls and golf.
  2. Often demand pressures are most acute outside weekday working hours when the use of facilities is at
    its highest. Partnerships with schools may assist with meeting peak time demand, especially for indoor
    court facilities.
  3. The region has an aging network of facilities across all facility types, particularly club facilities such as
    clubrooms and courts. Many of these are likely to become increasingly unsustainable as they age and
    face growing maintenance costs which may well be beyond the means of the codes and clubs that own
    and use them.
  4. The region has several characteristics that make it susceptible to different types of natural disasters. This,
    together with the age and location of many of our key assets means the facility network has potential
    resilience challenges.
  5. The scale of the required optimisation of the facility network far outstrips the region’s current funding
    resources. This is most relevant to sports club facilities where the necessary interventions (such as
    rationalisation, repurposing of assets, and facility development) are currently being constrained.
  6. The region lacks a collective vision, approach and means for evaluating facility investments and other
    facility decisions. This hampers the formation of partnerships and makes decisions for third party funders
    more difficult.

Regional Spaces and Places Plan