This week, on 11 September 2014, The Trusts Arena will have been part of your community for 10 years.
We opened on 11 September 2004 with a Kelston Boys High Banquet and a Dog Show, since then The Trusts Arena has continued to evolve and develop into a regional icon.
Our site hasn’t always been home to our Arena, in fact the site can trace its roots all the way back to the 1950′s and the founding by George Searle of what is now the Waitakere Athletics Club. Had he and others of his generation not had the vision to gift Waitakere a community facility that everyone could use, The Trusts Arena we have all come to know and use may never have eventuated. If you’re interested in a more detailed account of the 60 year history of this site we have a special focus on it on our website this month.
From those early beginnings The Trusts Arena has grown to become an icon of the West and a model for others to strive toward. Over our 10 years of existence more than 5.1 million people have come through our doors to participate in over 25,000 hours of court sports and around 5,000 events. Of course we have been host to some of the world’s biggest shows, from the 2007 World Netball Champs, Muse, to Crosby Stills & Nash, One Direction and the 2010 Rugby World Cup. The Trusts Arena is a community asset like no other in Australasia, no other community facility delivers the width and depth of support for its community and we’re incredibly proud to be able to deliver these events and outcomes for West Auckland.
We’re also proud of our record of sustainability. Each year the Waitakere City Stadium Trust returns hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of renewals back into the building to keep it looking as good as the day it opened. These funds come from a mixture of commercial operations, tenancies, fitness operations and partnerships with local and regional supporters who help us place community access and affordability at the forefront of everything we do. Our partnership with The Trusts has seen a very successful model delivered to West Auckland and with the recent re-signing of the naming rights for another 10 years it will ensure that West Auckland continues to enjoy the most modern and accessible recreational facility in New Zealand.
It is impossible to celebrate this occasion without reflecting on the incredibly hard working team that keeps the experience alive at The Trusts Arena. While we are attended by over 700,000 people per year the facility is managed by an exceptional team of less than 30 staff, of which only a handful are full-time, as has been the way since 2004. The Trusts Stadium, and then Arena has been fortunate to be supported by an extraordinary team who have all given freely of their time for the benefit of our community without fail. Whether it’s converting the Arena overnight from a One Direction concert to a Northern Mystics game or from a Rugby World Cup Fanzone into a Basketball floor, the teams of guys and girls over the years that have made these events happen are truly exceptional and are often unrecognised. Thank you to all current and former staff, without your input no matter how big or small, our community could not celebrate such success.
In addition to the team, it would be remiss of me to not mention the fleet of people who are often the unseen hands helping us to keep on track. From our support team in Doug & Maree at Regional Facilities Auckland Limited to Simon and his outstanding team and Trustees at The Trusts this is a facility that is truly a part of our community and we thank you all for helping us to achieve what we have.
When The Trusts Arena was first proposed, a driving force behind the project was to be one of social change and creating a “community hall for the west”. To gauge our success think back across your own interactions on this site in ten years, pretty much everyone has an “Arena story” and we couldn’t be prouder.
In the staff room here at The Trusts Arena is a gift given to us by a departing staff member, it simply reads;
He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata! He tangata! He tangata!
What is the most important thing in the world? It is people! It is people! It is people! We are here first, second and third for our community and look forward to serving you all better than ever for the next 10 years and beyond.
Brian Blake CHIEF EXECUTIVE THE TRUSTS ARENA