132                                                           02 May 2017

City Development Committee

07 April 2017




File: (17/633)





Report no: CDC2017/2/72


Walter Nash Centre Update





1.    This report provides an update to Councillors on the performance of the Walter Nash Centre after 18 months of operation.



That the report be noted and received.


2.    Walter Nash Centre (‘the Centre’) has been operating for approximately 18 months at the end of March 2017.


3.    This report provides an update on operations at the Centre.


4.    When the new Centre opened it provided additional indoor sports space which was severely needed in the Hutt Valley. This has resulted in increased provision for our community across codes such as netball, basketball, floorball, futsal, volleyball and more.

5.    The Centre has just reached a milestone of having one million customers through the door since opening. This vastly exceeds expected numbers for the centre.

6.    Local ownership of the space is positive to see. Through delivery of initiatives, behaviour in and around the space, permanent display items developed during the initial opening period and the interactions between staff and customers it is clear that local people feel pride in this facility. Staff would encourage Councillors to come into the Centre to witness the number of users, particularly between 3:30pm – 6:00pm when local students are prevalent.


7.    A range of programmes are delivered from the various spaces, including community led or driven. Some key examples of programmes are:  Korikori kids which has now expanded to be delivered every day from the centre and has between 20-35 participants each day; a youth designed programme called “Journeys” deliver by BGI targeting Taita College students which works in depth with our local youth to build leadership, resilience and keep them engaged in our community; our Magic Card leader board which encourages local primary and intermediate aged students to read outside of school (holidays and weekends) to build up reward ‘points’ which enables them to ‘purchase’ services and items from the Centre; and an older adults table tennis league which occurs during the day and has up to 12 attendees who come in and play (somewhat competitively!).

8.    Several significant events have taken place at the centre successfully including a Devilskin music concert, the National Secondary Schools Netball Competition 2016, Oceania Fencing Competition and Hutt Valley Sports Awards. Large scale, high profile events such as these are not only beneficial for Walter Nash Centre but also provide the Lower Hutt community wider economic benefit through visitors to the city, and a positive story/experience for users.

9.    The centre is relatively full at peak times during winter. Off-peak times, and in summer there is still capacity to grow, although this continues to build momentum over time.

10.  Key statistics regarding the number of hours booked since opening have been included below:

a.       Courts 7,677 hours

b.       Meeting spaces 4,962 hours

c.       Whole complex 108 hours

Learnings and Challenges

11.  In year one of operation (Sept 2015 - June 2016) budget management was a clear challenge. This was due to only a partial year of operation and the normal life cycle of new facilities which requires some build up time prior to reaching targets. The current year is tracking well, although a reduction in budgets for 2017/18 will be a test.

12.  Reaching target numbers for fitness suite members continues to be a challenge. Fitness Suites operate in a hugely competitive market with 28 gyms in a 15km radius. The Walter Nash Centre Fitness Suite has a good space and high quality equipment; however it does not have the draw card of a pool as other fitness suites in the city do. The team continue to deliver a range of membership promotional activities and technology based incentives are being investigated for loyalty and rewards programmes. It is also important to note the gym also provides a key community service working extensively with target groups such as green prescription. As this is still in its infancy, the Fitness Suite will require several more years to fulfil its potential.


13.  Staff levels at the centre have to be carefully monitored. In some regards we are a victim of our own success with pressure constantly placed on the team to be able to adequately deliver all core services, and host programmes and events to a high standard. The team is moving towards a one team culture, where they are operating as a single unit rather than separate offerings of fitness suite, library and front of house/events.

14.  Our café continues to be a challenge. During summer months the operator runs at a loss while in winter it remains viable. We have actively supported them by ensuring all bookings which have a food and beverage requirement discuss this with them before final selection.

15.  We can continue to build on our strong base of event and programme delivery. There is always opportunity to better link with other Council divisions and analyse community need in more depth to inform choices of delivery. We also have an increasing role to empower community to deliver their own activities from the centre.

16.  Traditionally we have not been good at celebrating our own successes. The Walter Nash Centre needs to focus on positive communications and marketing pre and post delivery to ensure that the wider community recognise the high quality facility that is in their city.   


17.  Finances for the YTD 16/17 are listed below until end of March.


YTD Budgeted

YTD Actual

YTD Variance

Centre Revenue




Centre Expenditure




Fitness Suite Revenue




Fitness Suite Expenditure




Total (Net Budgets)





18.  Full year budgets for 16/17 and 17/18 are listed below:


2016/17 Budget

2017/18 Budget

Centre Revenue



Centre Expenditure



Fitness Suite Revenue



Fitness Suite Expenditure



Total (Net Budgets)




Future Opportunities

19.  Further enhancement in the provision of high profile events. These can sometimes be difficult to accommodate as the centre continues to build its user base however there is an appetite to support these especially during summer.

20.  Focus on filling non-peak times. This is the challenge for all indoor facilities in New Zealand.

21.  Continuing to improve the facilities on offer from the centre is a priority. Several key items have been listed to enhance our service levels. This includes retractable seating, investigating the potential of the north end of the old stadium, and enhancing the usability of the new stadium for non-sports events.

22.  The single biggest opportunity is in the new division working in an integrated manner, incorporating the community relationships team with hubs. Moving towards a one team approach this will both broaden the services offered from our hubs and fine tune them to community need as well as build up capacity in the community to deliver its own services.

NZNB Secondary Schools 2016 - 3





There are no appendices for this report.   








Author: Mike Mercer

Divisional Manager Community Hubs







Approved By: Matt Reid

General Manager Community Services