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Government announces $30m for Upper Hutt sports science facility

Matthew Tso The Dominion Post

A world-class sports science facility has received $30 million in the latest round of shovel-ready project funding.


Minister of Finance, and Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson announced on Thursday morning the NZ Campus of Innovation and Sport (NZCIS) in Upper Hutt would receive government backing.


“The sports hub is designed to be a world-leading shared service for a range of sports, offering the level of facilities no individual sporting code could manage by itself,” Robertson said.


“The project will provide services not only to elite sports, but it is also intended that it will provide services for academies and grassroots.”


The NZCIS is part of a wider project at the former Central Institute of Technology in Trentham. Also based on the grounds will be an incubator for high tech industries, the high performance sports hub, and a training facility for central government agencies like Corrections and the Defence Force.


The NZCIS is the brainchild of developers Malcolm Gillies and Kevin Melville who bought the site in 2015.


Plans for the 17 hectare site include a 1000 square metre gym, an altitude studio, cryotherapy facilities, pools, four outdoor fields and a 70m by 50m indoor field.

Technology would be installed to allow athletes to gather performance data and evaluate it on-site from three analysis rooms.


The NZCIS is expected to create 244 jobs in Upper Hutt with anchor tenants Wellington Rugby, Wellington Phoenix, and Baseball NZ already signed up to use the hub.

The funding is part of the $3 billion infrastructure package in the Covid-19 Response and Recovery Fund, announced by Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones on July 1.


Last week the Hutt Valley projects received $39m from the same fund including a $12m grant for Upper Hutt’s Maidstone Sportshub.


Upper Hutt Mayor Wayne Guppy said the CIS would change the landscape of sport in New Zealand.


”We’ve had a lot of exciting announcements in my time as mayor but this is one of the biggest.


“From the point of view of [New Zealand’s] elite sports people and teams, it will be an opportunity to make use of the best facilities and experts available. We’ll be producing more and more winners.


”I might have to come out of retirement – with all the expertise and equipment, my All Blacks dream might not be over,” he said.


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