Hockey in Rodney Region was always very strong with teams been fielded from Tomarata, Wellsford, Port Albert, Kaipara Flats, Matakana, Leigh and Warkworth.
The Rodney Region selected players for their Rodney Rep teams that played throughout the country and from here there were a number of players that were selected to represent New Zealand and play overseas.
With the advancement to synthetic turfs, the grass fields that traditionally all hockey had been played upon become obsolete as players desired to join the exciting new game on the new turf that this surface offered.
The new fields played a faster game with no mud and cancellations.
Hence, Rodney hockey was dis-established, and local players began to travel further to North Harbour or Whangarei to participate in club hockey at these new facilities.
The local Rodney competition that had existed for many years, since the 1900’s, was sadly missed by many local hockey families and current players. It was talked about building a turf in Rodney for many years and in October 2004 after a few hockey players got together, they began the momentum on the goal for Rodney’s own turf facility by the establishment of the Warkworth Hockey Turf Charitable Trust.
They went to Council and with much negotiation struck an undertaking that Council would supply land at the Warkworth Show grounds and they would also fund the project to the tarmac finish which was a input of about $615,000.
It was up to the Turf Trust to raise the remaining funds to build the Turf and the committee of the time put in many hours. The Turf Trust thought it was on its way and started raising funds but Council’s part of the build kept on getting deferred as funds did not become available.
In 2011 the Turf Trust was reinvigorated after so many years of setbacks. They met with Council and got an undertaking to do the groundwork that had been promised for so long.
Upon the council starting the earth works the Trust knew there was no going back and began the work of fundraising activities and the application for Grants to make up a sum of $850,000 now needed to build there part of the turf.
The Warkworth Hockey Turf Charitable Trust have achieved their objective of building the Turf which was opened on 22nd March 2015.
It has been a long process for a committee of volunteers who have spent years and many thousands of hours to achieve the goal of a Synthetic Turf for our region with the help of their community.
It is with great thanks to them we now have a World class facility in our area for all to play upon.
The Turf is to be administered by the Trust in conjunction with Auckland Council and may we all use it and enjoy.