News Item

$NZD2m upgrade of Teufaiva Stadium athletics track underway

News 13 Aug 2018

An $NZD2.3 million project to upgrade the Teufaiva Stadium in Nuku'alofa to an international standard is expected to be completed by 20 December 2018.

Tony Dilger, a spokesperson for ITS Engineering and Architectural Consultants, said the stadium is being upgraded to the International Association of Athletics Federations IAAF Certification II.

He told Hon. Losaline Ma’asi, the Minister for Internal Affairs MIA on 9 August that about 30% of the work had been completed, and construction would be completed by 20 November 2018. “Practical Completion on 20 December 2018 and final completion, 12 months later.”

A contract was signed by the Tonga government and Field Drainage Specialists NZ Ltd., of Silverdale, Auckland, New Zealand, on 28 May 2018 to upgrade the Teufaiva Stadium. Under the contract, FDS is to upgrade the athletic track from 6 to 8 lanes, install field events areas for shot put, discus and hammer throw, long and triple jumps, javelin, high jump and pole vault events.

The company will resurface and mark tracks to meet the International Association of Athletics Federations, IAAF Certification II; Install new track perimeter fencing; install electrical conduits to interior of the track and design electrical flood lighting.

To completely upgrade Teufaiva Stadium to an IAAF Certification II, ‘Onetoto ‘Anisi, the Chief Executive Officer CEO for the Ministry for Internal Affairs estimated that it would cost $TOP6 million. He said that government had spent $500,000 pa'anga to relocate and to put down top soil.

The upgrading of public facilities, the entrances to the stadium and the drainage of the stadium, according to Sateki ‘Ahio, the Facility/Sports Development Assistance Adviser to the Minister of Internal Affairs, will be financed by the Asian Development Bank and work is scheduled to start soon.

Meanwhile, the stadium is in need of a new roof after it was damaged by Cyclone Gita in February. Sateki said that he had been talking to director of the National Emergency Management Office NEMO, to finance a new roof for the stadium.

The move to upgrade Teufaiva, Tonga’s national sports stadium, was initiated by the New Zealand Prime Minister Hon. John Key when he visited Tonga in 2014 and committed $NZD2m to upgrade Teufaiva.

Tonga signed a contract to host the 2019 Pacific Games in 2013 and Papua New Guinea PNG pledged to contribute $47 milllion Kina for the reconstruction of Teufaiva. However, PNG withdrew their financial commitment after Tonga annuled the host contract in June 2017.

The initial upgrading of the stadium field was carried out by the Field Drainage Specialists NZ Ltd. and its completion was marked by the former NZ High Commissioner to Tonga, HE Sara Walsh and Tonga's then caretaker PM Hon. ‘Akilisi Pohiva on 13 December 2017.

Source: Matangi Tonga