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The Peak – Te Pūmanawa O Rototuna

Case Study, August 2023

The Peak – Te Pūmanawa O Rototuna

Case Study, August 2023

Key facts

  • Owner: Ministry of Education
  • Landowner: Ministry of Education
  • Operator: Rototuna Indoor Recreation Centre Trust
  • Project Type: New Development
  • Hierarchy: Sub-regional/District
  • Primary Function: Community Sport and Education (equal)
  • Standard: Mid range
  • Planning: Commenced 2015
  • Construction: Completed 2017
  • Total Project Capital Cost (excluding land): $9.2m plus $800k fit-out
  • Vision: To offer an inclusive and enriching environment that inspires people to be their best.

Project partners

  • Rototuna Indoor Recreation Centre Trust
  • Te Kur Nui O Rototuna Hight Schools
  • Ministry of Education
  • Sport Waikato
  • Hamilton City Council

The Peak project partner logos

The challenge

The Peak responds to a long-term and well-known community need – a lack of indoor court space in Hamilton-Waikato. In 2014, the Waikato Regional Sports Facility Plan identified the need for two 4-5 court indoor facilities as the number one facility priority for the region.

In the same year, the Ministry of Education was planning for new junior and senior high schools in the northern suburb of Rototuna. The High Schools Establishment Board identified the need and opportunity for a larger indoor court facility than the two-court facility that was initially planned for the school, to meet the needs of both the school and local community. Several local sports codes at this time, including volleyball, basketball, and futsal, were also having trouble accessing enough court space and time to run competitions to cater for growing participation numbers.

Project specification

It was determined through the needs assessment and feasibility studies done in 2014 and 2015 respectively, that an indoor four-court facility would meet the need. From here, a facility specification process was undertaken involving consultation with stakeholders which led to the decision that the four courts would be full-sized netball courts with the required runoff, and the ceiling height of the building would accommodate volleyball and badminton.

Other features of the facility include:

  • Changing rooms, with a total of six toilets and six showers in a sperate school building, only accessible to the community during tournaments.
  • Five toilets within the facility (two male, two female, and one accessible), plus a shower in the accessible bathroom.
  • A main storage space (78 square metres), and two small storage areas (approximately 3.5m x 3.5m each) that the school has access to.
  • One set of bleachers around the designated community court and an adjoining reception, which seats 175 people.

The Peak case study image of an indoor building from the outside

Project team

The Hamilton City Council worked in partnership with Sport Waikato on site selection analysis and a feasibility study for the preferred indoor recreation centre model. Opus International Consultants (now WSP New Zealand) completed the site selection and feasibility study.

Once the school site was confirmed as the location for the facility, a partnership between the Ministry of Education, Hamilton City Council, and the Rototuna High Schools Establishment Board was developed. As part of the partnership agreement, the Ministry of Education became the project owner and appointed an external project manager.

In 2016, the Rototuna Indoor Recreation Centre Trust was formed to be the facility operator. The trustees of this trust include representatives from Rototuna High Schools’ Establishment Board of Trustees, Hamilton City Council, and Sport Waikato.

Project overview

The development of this facility is the result of a strong collaboration between the Ministry of Education, Rototuna High Schools, Hamilton City Council, Sport Waikato, and five regional sport organisations. A key component of the success of the project was that the Ministry of Education and the Hamilton City Council were both actively planning for growth, with funding ‘ring fenced’ in their respective budgets prior to a site being confirmed. These factors led to a relatively short timeframe from project confirmation to completion.

The diagram below shows the timeline of the project from need identification to opening, with the partnerships and agreement negotiations happening concurrently.


The feasibility study determined that the facility would be run by a not-for-profit service provider, so that the interests of both the community and the schools could be met. The Rototuna Indoor Recreation Centre Trust was formed in 2016 and is party to the founding partnership agreements between the Ministry of Education, the Hamilton City Council, Rototuna High Schools Establishment Board, and The Trust which covers: 

  • funding of the facility build
  • agreement for the Trust to be the operator
  • details of how the facility is to be used and shared
  • funding of future building renewals.

The five regional sport organisations (basketball, volleyball, futsal, netball, and badminton) worked with Sport Waikato through the planning process to ensure their voice was heard through the council site selection and funding confirmation process, as well as input into the facility specification.

The concurrent development of the school had a lot of advantages, including design and mana whenua input through relationships held by the Rototuna High School Establishment Board. Ngati Wairere gifted the name ‘The Peak – Te Puumanawa O Rototuna’. The building design complements the other new school building and like the rest of the school, it was designed to meet the five-star Green Environmental Standard.

There were, however, some challenges during the building defect phase, where poor material choices and workmanship resulted in rework affecting the facility’s operation.

Ongoing challenges for the The Peak include:

  • Limited access to changing facilities – The Peak itself does not have dedicated changing rooms, but rather these are shared within an adjoining school building.
  • The Peak also does not have any multi-purposes spaces outside of the courts.
  • Meeting spaces for referees and officials is also a current gap. The Trust plans to explore options for resolving this in the future.

At both an operational and governance level, the parties have realised the importance of working at ongoing relationship management.

User profile

In 2021/22, The Peak had:

  • user split of 40% school use and 60% community use
  • 99,719 total users (community and school combined)
  • occupancy of 54%.

Both the participant and occupancy numbers are lower than previous years due to the impact of Covid-19 in 2021 and 2022. Occupancy has been as high as 74% in the first year of operations, and for the first half of 2023 is averaging 76%.

The school:community use ratio is at the level that was expected prior to construction, however the number of users and occupancy are exceeding expectations.

The facility is well used by disability groups, with Parefed Waikato using it on a weekly basis. The Peak is the host site for wheelchair basketball tournaments and the Special Olympics when they are held in Hamilton. Hamilton North, a school dedicated to special needs, has a satellite campus at Rototuna High Schools and uses The Peak for physical education. 

The Trust runs several programmes itself to respond to various needs and target different demographics. These programmes include Girl Code for young girls, Strong & Stable classes for older adults, Peak-a-Boo sessions for preschoolers, Pop-up Sport sessions, and Sunday Basketball Scrimmages.

Rangatahi practicing cheerleading in an indoor space

What users say

  • “We can spend time with friends and family. We can practise our skills and have fun.”
  • “The number of courts available allows more space for other sports.”
  • “It has everything for every age.”
  • “The Peak is an amazing sports centre for the community and surrounding area, ranging from activities for the babies to top NZ school competitions. We brought the kids here and they absolutely loved it.”


Rototuna Indoor Recreation Centre Trust has a strategic plan with the vision: “To offer an inclusive and enriching environment that inspires people to be their best.

The Trust has recently undertaken a review of its strategic plan with the aim of strengthening how the plan is measured and evaluated. Details of this evaluation and the metrics used can be found in the Trust’s annual reports:


The operating surpluses that The Peak has generated in recent years is accumulated and invested in term deposits for the future expansion of the progammes offered by the Trust or expansion of the facility itself and renewals. The Trust is responsible for renewals of the fitout and equipment it owns. Capital renewals of the building is funded on a 50/50 split between the Council and MoE at year 10. Any MoE contribution including the 50/50 split on annual maintenance refers to "ministry or board's contribution" therefore allowing the MoE and Board to determine the appropriate method for school contribution/funding.


Total Project Cost 2017 $10 million   Total Operating Cost  2021/22 $534,000 per annum

Estimated Proportion Planning & Design Costs


Operating Expenses

Staff & Contractors



Estimated Proportion Construction Costs



Maintenance & repairs



 Fit out





Project Funding

Local Philanthropic Trusts






Local Government 






Central Government - MOE






Gaming Trusts












Local Fundraising/Code Contributions









Depreciation (For Fitout and equipment owned by trust only)





Total Operating Income

$624,000 per annum





Income Sources

Community User Pays






Commercial Activity  












Local Government Subsidy






School contribution






In kind contribution








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