A process has been launched to find contractors to work on the redevelopment of Yarrow Stadium, the New Zealand facility that was badly damaged by an earthquake back in 2016.

The Stuff.co.nz website said registrations of interest are being sought from companies seeking to provide construction services on the New Plymouth stadium, which continues to operate, albeit at a significantly reduced capacity.

The project includes repairs to the stadium’s two main stands, technology upgrades, new LED lighting and improvements to the pitch. Interested parties have until March 6 to register their interest, with work set to commence in June following the tender process.

Redevelopment of Yarrow Stadium moved forward, despite strong opposition, after receiving the backing of New Plymouth District Council (NPDC) back in June. NPDC voted nine to five in favour of the project after it was approved the previous month by Taranaki Regional Council (TRC). The stadium is owned by the Taranaki Stadium Trust (TST), a TRC-controlled body, but is operated by the NPDC.

While the project was given the go-ahead, the situation facing NPDC was described as “blackmail”, “bullying” and “a curve ball” by submitters at the meeting. The NZ$50m (£25.1m/€29.7m/$32.7m) redevelopment plan for Yarrow Stadium cuts NZ$5m from the initially expected cost of transforming the venue.

A NZ$55m repair plan had been recommended in February 2019. The venue suffered damage from the Kaikōura earthquake back in November 2016 and its two main stands have been out of action since June 2018 after they were deemed an earthquake risk.

Eight options for the council-owned stadium had been on the table, ranging from a basic NZ$6m upgrade through to a project including demolition of the stands and construction of a new covered stadium that would have cost NZ$271m.

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

Image: Taranaki Regional Council