Yarrow Stadium redevelopment moves into final phase

The redevelopment of Yarrow Stadium has hit another significant milestone with the appointment of local contractor Clelands Construction to complete the $42m East Stand build.

Below ground civil works for the East Stand are now complete and with this milestone finished, the next stage of construction is commencing, says Taranaki Regional Council Chair, Charlotte Littlewood.

“While pausing to celebrate these progress milestones, we also need to acknowledge the impact of inflation and rising costs on the project and confirm that the budget for the stadium redevelopment has moved from $70 to $79.7 million.”

Mrs Littlewood said while the budget has increased, the total contributed by ratepayers remains under the $50 million approved in 2019 as part of an extensive public consultation and engagement process.

“The Council secured $30 million in funding from the Government's Infrastructure Reference Group (IRG) programme which has limited the impact of rising construction costs on ratepayers.

“While we are disheartened to be in front of the community talking about another increase in budget, the reality is that projects in New Zealand and abroad are facing the same significant cost pressures as the redevelopment of Yarrow Stadium.

“To deliver on the Stadium vision and design principles, we have spent the last eight months undertaking a thorough and robust review of material costs. Everything from lightbulbs to structural steel has been examined to identify and realise cost savings, which has been important to ensure we are getting value for ratepayers.

“Together this value management process and the on time and on budget completion of the riskiest stage of the East Stand – below ground works – have significantly reduced the risk to the remaining part of the project.”

Since reopening last year, Yarrow Stadium has been buzzing with activity, with thousands from the community enjoying Super Rugby, community sports and meetings in the repaired West Stand. The main pitch has been revitalised with a state-of-the-art GrassMaster hybrid turf, while eco-friendly LED lights now illuminate the stadium.

“The East Stand's design, unveiled last year, received strong positive public feedback and remains unchanged. Its flexibility and scalability allow it to cater to small community matches and large international games, with the option to open up all or part of the facility. We are excited to begin the above-ground construction, bringing us closer to delivering the finest regional stadium in the country.”

Last year's artist's impression provided a glimpse of the East Stand's appearance and showcased the range of facilities it will offer. In addition to hosting sporting events, the stand will serve as a versatile venue for trade shows, hospitality events, and exhibitions.

The East Stand design has been developed in collaboration with Ngāti Te Whiti, who have contributed to its cultural aspects. The East Stand is expected to open in time for the 2025 winter sports season.