Repair work recommended for earthquake-prone New Zealand stadium

A NZ$55m (£28.7m/€33.3m/$37.8m) repair plan has been recommended for Yarrow Stadium in the city of New Plymouth, New Zealand, which suffered earthquake damage back in November 2016.

Yarrow Stadium’s two main stands have been out of action since last June after they were deemed an earthquake risk due to the damage caused by the Kaikōura earthquake.

The stadium is owned by the Taranaki Regional Council, which has recommended that it be repaired at a cost of $NZ55m, with an option to enhance its facilities for a further NZ$14m.

The council considered eight options for the stadium, including demolition of the stands and construction of a new covered stadium worth NZ$271m.

The proposal recommends that Yarrow Stadium’s East and West stands be repaired and it will now be put to the public. The selection of Option 2 allows the council to still consider Option 4, which would include the reconfiguration of the East Stand with extra seating and additional recreational facilities.

Lending for the NZ$55m repair work would be repaid through an annual targeted rate over 25 years.

TRC chairman David McLeod said: “The council is committed to returning Yarrow Stadium to full operational capability as soon as reasonably possible.

“Option 4 looks to be the best in terms of the benefits it would bring but a co-funder would be needed, so Option 2 has to be our preferred option. We can go ahead with it but leave the door open for Option 4 if outside funding becomes available in the next 18 months.”

Public submissions hearings will now be held and a final decision on the stadium is set to be made on May 21.

The stadium is primarily used to host rugby matches. After it was deemed an earthquake risk last year, the capacity of the once 25,000-seat venue has been drastically reduced.

Image: Taranaki Regional Council