Fitzherbert Park Upgrade
Project: Fitzherbert Park Upgrade
Client: Palmerston North City Council
Construction & Development
Fitzherbert Park is Palmerston Norths’ premiere cricket facility and has hosted age group cricket tournaments through to touring international sides. Up until recent years the ground has been used for NZ Cricket (NZC) one day and four day games for both women and men’s cricket.
With the development of NZC Warrant of Fitness (WOF) and increasing expectations of the modern game Fitzherbert Park lost their NZC WOF due to the lack of effective irrigation to the outfield in droughty summers causing a brown bumpy outfield that first class players did not like.
Fitzherbert Park is unusual as is has three cricket blocks (two club and one representative) and a practise block within the one facility. During winter rugby league is played over the outfield and blocks making for more difficult management of the ground for the groundstaff.
Since losing the NZC WOF Palmerston North City Council (Brian Way, John Brenckley), in consultation with Manawatu Cricket Association, have
- Extended the drainage across the whole ground
- Installed a full outfield pop up irrigation system
- Resurfaced the two Patumahoe blocks
- Replaced the Marton soil with Patumahoe on the town end block.
NZSTI wrote the specifications for the above work and made site visits to oversee the local turf contractor Greenfields Turf (Mike De Malmanche).
During this period a new head groundsman, Andy May (ex-Recreational Services and Waikato Stadium) has been appointed and will have the responsibility of growing in and preparing the ground for, firstly, Rugby League Cricket season.
With the new irrigation system, changes to the cricket blocks and an experienced team all parties look forward to regaining NZC WOF and return to first class cricket in Palmerston North.