June 13, 2001

ND achieves surplus result

Northern Districts completed an operating surplus of $57,402 over the past season, an increase of $13,446 on last year.

ND's profit was achieved in spite of an extra round of Shell Trophy cricket, increased investment in women's cricket and coaching and development, and the ongoing developments at WestpacTrust Park in Hamilton.

It was also achieved against a slight loss in affiliation fees, memberships and income from WestpacTrust Park.

Chief excutive John Turkington said: "This result was able to be achieved through a significant increase in NZC and locally sourced funding and a vigilance in policing expenses against budget.

"As this report is written the challenge remains to retain and increase our funding base to ensure we have the financial resources to meet the pending challenges."

The ND Association's accumulated fund showed a significant improvement and was up $240,918 on last year.

One area of concern that ND is looking to address is the quality of pitches in its region. While WestpacTrust Park in Hamilton and Owen Delany Park in Taupo had good and consistent playing surfaces there were issues at other grounds.

"Without being too critical and whilst applauding the work of the Associations and their ground people, many of whom spend long hours on preparation for little or no return, other venues are often variable, through climatic and other variable conditions," Turkington said.

"Often the need to maximise gate income from Shell Cup matches, has caused ND to allocate matches to venues where the playing surface is not up to the standard required for developing our cricket.

"Somehow we must work with the venues to ensure both financial and cricketing needs can be met," he said.

There was developing momentum in the Tauranga-Mt Maunganui area to develop an alternative venue to Blake Park. ND would support the Bay of Plenty Cricket Association in its choice because that part of the region was an important component of ND's network of venues.

The Rotorua District Council has expressed an interest in having first-class cricket played in Rotorua again while development of Bruce Pulman Park in Papakura by Counties Manukau should have the ground ready for district cricket next season.

Poverty Bay's Cricket Association is also keen to host cricket at the highest level possible in Gisborne at the Harry Barker Reserve.

The chairman of ND, Mike Sandlant asked whether the time had arrived for ND to have more involvement in administration and cricket in its districts.

"Some would hold up their hands in horror, others would welcome such an involvement. It might be, perhaps, the time for ND to address such matters and form some opinion for our strategic plan which is now evolving," he said.