Mercury Bay Recreation Trust

The Mercury Bay Recreation Trust wound up in February 2016 and a working group is being set up to lead the development of a sports and recreation strategy for the Mercury Bay area.

Mercury Bay Recreation Trust

The Trust was established in December 2011 and is an incorporated society and was disbanded in February 2016.

The Mercury Bay Recreation Trust informed the Community Board that it has decided to wind up in January 2016. The Trust Chair Bill McLean told the Board that the Trust deed and the Memorandum of Understanding was just too broad, when the purpose of the Trust was really intended to focus on fundraising. 

The Trust Deed and objectives included to promote the provision, development, construction, management and maintenance of social, cultural, educational and leisure facilities in the Mercury Bay area, along with encouraging the use of such facilities and obtaining funds from external parties.

"At our final meeting the Trust also passed a resolution recommending that the Community Board develop a strategic business plan for the Sports Park within the next 12 months, which included the wider Mercury Bay area," says Mr McLean.

"We want to thank the Trust and both past and present members, for its work and positive contribution to the provision of Sports and Recreation facilities and services in our area," says Paul Kelly, Mercury Bay Community Board Chair.

As a result of the Recreation Trust's decision the Community Board has decided to establish a working group to lead the development of a sports and recreation strategy for the Mercury Bay area.

Once the new working group is set up it will work with the sports codes and stakeholders to develop a strategic plan for sports and recreation facilities within Mercury Bay.

If you are interested in discussing the establishment of the working group contact Mercury Bay Area Manager Allan Tiplady and updates can also be found at


Background to the establishment of the Trust

Since the mid-1990s, the term ‘sportville’ has been used to refer to a variety of partnership arrangements entered into by sports clubs.

We are in the process of setting up a management structure for the Mercury Bay Multi-Sport Park modelled on the sportville concept and have applied for funding to do this under the NZ Sport Active Communities Partnership Funding criteria.

Overview of how it works

A governance board made up of representatives of different sports codes would employ a paid executive responsible for overseeing the multi-sport park promotions, all facility maintenance and administration/reception staff as required.

The governance board would report to external stakeholders including the Mercury Bay Recreation Trust, Sport Waikato and TCDC. A free flow of information would occur between the sporting codes using the facility and the governance board.

Background about Sportsville structures

In 2008 Sport NZ commissioned a report from Peter Burley, Director of Sport Guidance to help determine “what works and what doesn’t” when it comes to such partnerships.

For sports leaders, council politicians and officers, and investor organisations alike, the report is a valuable resource and can be viewed on the Sport NZ website.

TCDC is what might be referred to in the report as an ‘investor organisation’ in community sport, along with Sport Waikato. The sportville structure is part of our council’s search for more effective ways to support community sport and maximise the potential of the new Mercury Bay Multi-Sport Park facility.

In summary, the NZ Sport report notes the following key essentials in successful ‘sportville’ or sports club partnerships:

Good governance

Sports club partnerships are complex arrangements that must satisfy multiple stakeholders. They require enlightened leadership and a clear separation of governance and sport delivery functions.

Clarity of purpose

The value proposition must be clear, simple, and compelling. The benefits of the partnership must be articulated in ways that everyone can understand.

Formal amalgamations are not always necessary

A new entity need not replace existing clubs but instead can umbrella constituent members.

Clustering of resources

The close physical proximity of facilities (fields, courts, changing rooms, café etc) is important in the same way the kitchen is central to a home.

Staged progression

Building trust is essential as organisations feel their way toward new relationshipS. The influence of a respected “project champion” is critical, even where there are willing parties and conditions are favourable.

Council support

Partnerships appear to have a greater chance of success if local authorities have supportive policies and are prepared to invest.

For more information visit the