The grandstand project was initiated in 2017 with the objective being to construct a 400 seat fully covered facility.

As background in 1971 a community grandstand was built in central Te Puke and was utilised for rugby, athletics, civic events and scouting jamborees to mention but a few activities. In recent years the grandstand was demolished to allow for commercial development. The facility was never replaced and the wider community between Te Maunga – Papamoa – Whakatane – Rotorua was deprived of a grandstand facility.

Prior to and up until 2017 Te Puke Sports owned a somewhat dilapidated temporary wooden stand that had lasted well beyond its “use-by-date”.  During 2017 a visiting team from Argentina demonstrated the fragility of the old stand as seen in this video: Grandstand in 2017 for the Argentina Tour

During 2017 the Christchurch City Council offered the earthquake destroyed Lancaster Park for sale.  The Park was destroyed in 2011 when it was hit by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake which completely ruined the stadium.  Seats with connected backing rails were offered for sale at a clearance price of $10.00 each.

The retail price would have been close to $200.00 each without the associated railing structures.  Therefore, Te Puke Sports applied for and was allocated 400 of the seats. These were transported to the Port of Tauranga by sea following a huge logistical exercise headed by Zespri and Oceanic Navigation and supported by eleven other companies who provided extraction labour, transport, storage, stevedoring, Port access, pallets, palletisation and other services.  The seats arrived at the Port of Tauranga at no cost other that the original purchase price.

Community support for the proposed Te Puke Sports covered grandstand project became strong and was initially supported by way of grants from the Western Bay of Plenty District Council and the Te Puke Community Board. This financial support was then extended with grants from TECT, NZCT, Lottery Board and Lion Foundation. Larger sponsors then contributed to the project with Murray Salt Contractors, Rabo Bank, Seeka, Glencore Grain, Stratum, 1st Mortgage Trust,  Arnold and Johnstone, Grosafe Chemicals and Pukepine adding considerably to the fund.  All 400 seats were sold to club members at $100.00 each.  Other private donations and the inevitable working-bees made the project an outstanding success with close to $800.000 being raised.

The purpose-built covered stand was completed during 2020 and commissioned for use in 2021.  A grand opening ceremony in December 2020 drew a large crowd with WBOPDC Mayor Garry Webber as keynote speaker and All Black Captain Ian Kirkpatrick along with fellow All Black Eric Rush as guest speakers.  Club member and auctioneer Val Ditchfield skilfully raised more than $20,000 by auctioning valuable memorabilia and priceless items including two portraits of Ian Kirkpatrick and a quilt depicting the clubs’ history.  These items were donated by Heather Salt and artist Patrick Gibbons respectively. Please see photographs below.

This was one of the most significant projects ever undertaken by the club.  The grandstand now provides a state-of-the-art facility that will be used primarily for rugby games however will also be available for other sports, community events and charitable organisations. The facility promotes participation and allows all age groups to become involved in outdoor pursuits. Schools will be significantly advantaged and tournaments such as the Tai Mitchell competition can now be held with facilities that complement the occasion.

To view a buiding review and photo progression summary CLICK HERE



See the full powerpoint presentation on the history of the Grandstand, presented during the grandstand opening night celebrations.

Full powerpoint presentation