Korikori Park is one of Hamilton’s newest premier sports parks with two cricket pitches, five football fields including one full sand carpet, floodlights, exercise equipment, skatepark, basketball half court, gender neutral changing rooms/toilets, walking track and pedestrian mall covering over 12 hectares. Korikori refers to the way people play and move over the space.
Korikori Park is part of a wider community, recreational and town centre precinct. It neighbours The Peak Indoor Recreation facility and Rototuna Village which offers a library, café, changing places toilet and community hub, skate and play spaces, public toilets and a village square.
Council winter sports field demand studies identified a deficit of sport fields in Hamilton East. Council was also required to respond to growth in Rototuna growth cell, including increasing the opportunities for participation in active recreational events and activities. Our skate spaces and playground plans identified the need for a skate and play spaces in the Hamilton North East/ Rototuna to create a geographically spread network. The skate, play and park spaces provide free activities for the community as informal recreation. The park can also be booked by sports clubs for formalised sport and recreation opportunities.
Prior to the development of the sports fields, a workshop was held with Regional Sporting Organisations and Sport Waikato around the park development as a multi-sport hub and what infrastructure was required. Additional stakeholders included local schools, residents, retirement villages, childcare centres, Iwi, park users, regional sporting organisations and clubs.
In regard to the wider Rototuna Village Hub, residents told us they wanted a vibrant village heart, where people can meet, play and be connected to the outdoors, improved parks, and enhanced links to the wider city. Council’s response was to develop roads, parks, shared paths, and community and transport facilities to connect the Rototuna community to the wider city, providing a sense of identity and belonging. A key message was ‘this is YOUR Rototuna – we are listening’.
The Rototuna Village Hub had extensive community engagement spanning three years over four phases this included the skatepark/basketball, playground and pool components.
Council set out to achieve a high-quality premier park that can be used for the wider community with more usage hours and a wider range of user groups and informal users. Korikori Park is innovative in its design setting a new precedent for sports parks into the future. The multi-functional offering of informal and formal recreation spaces increases the amount and type of park use. We now have a multitude of users, football, cricket, school sport along with informal recreation use.
The park is central located as part of a wider precinct of sport and recreational opportunities for Rototuna – it is the beating heart of this new community. Council has created a community and recreational precinct for all; uniquely the library is integrated with the skatepark and basketball space on the park, it has play and reading spaces, public square hang-out zones and play spaces beside the cafe, sports fields, indoor courts and a playground to be developed. Hopefully in the future a partner pool and fitness centre and an artificial football turf! This the first time a sports park in Hamilton has been developed as part of a wider sport, recreation and community precinct hub offering.
Korikori park was selected as a training site for the FIFA Women’s World Cup. An international standard training field was developed, gender-neutral changing rooms and floodlights installed. Feedback on the FIFA training field was that the standard was one of the best in New Zealand.
Korikori park is of an excellent standard due to the field platform quality, football field LED lighting and new gender-neutral changing rooms. There is a high-level of user experience/satisfaction, creating an expectation from other clubs wanting all parks to match!
One field is sandcarpet and the others are sand capped, full primary and secondary drainage and underground irrigation was installed along with LED floodlights, which increases capacity of playing hours and durability/quality of surface. The increased usage hours and reduced overall maintenance requirements adds to sustainability long-term. Irrigation system is timed, and if it rains it will detect that and adjust accordingly, reducing water use and keeping the fields in good condition for longer.
The skate park, pump track/ half basketball court area is being well used since recently opening and many path connections link the park to the wider precinct, including Rototuna High School.
Council created a designated pedestrian mall which is very unique, it provides a safe corridor for active transport. A pedestrian mall is a street for people, meaning you can still walk, cycle, scooter or park on Korikori Green road, but through vehicle access is restricted. Korikori Green is a busy route for school students.
Korikori is a new park, creating 12 hectares of additional sports park capacity to the network. The sports field platform was developed as multi-purpose and Council intentionally avoided the park becoming the ‘home venue’ for any one club or sport, to encourage a wider range of use. The park is booked to multiple users year-round including football, cricket, touch, 7’s rugby training, school use and events e.g Christmas markets, Wheels along Waikato. Council is currently undertaking a feasibility on a clubhouse development at the park that would not follow the traditional model of being owned by a club, but rather a bookable space by multiple users. Northern United Football Club is a key user with approx. 900 members. The park is booked 7 days a week, with use peaking in the evenings.
The Rototuna Village Hub has only recently opened and hence we do not yet have participation numbers or data, however the skatepark/ basketball court play space is being well utilised and we are seeing significant numbers visiting the library with approximately 27,000 in the first 17 days of operation.
- Outstanding Active Space Initiative