Wellington Scoop

Campaigners and cricketers welcome plan to save historic Basin stand

News from Save the Basin
Save the Basin Campaign applauds the Wellington City Council’s proposal to save the historic Basin Reserve Museum Stand.

“Not only are they keeping it, earthquake-strengthening it and restoring its unique heritage features, they are creating a greatly enhanced facility”, says STBC co-convenor Joanna Newman. “If this plan is approved by the Council, the Museum Stand will be better for spectators, provide many more facilities, and make the world-renowned NZ Cricket Museum easier to access both on match days and non-match days.”

The Basin Reserve is one of the world’s best cricket grounds, but it’s not just about cricket. From junior rugby on Saturday mornings, to functions in the RA Vance stand, to a quiet place to sit and have lunch, the ground is used day and night, and all year round.

With assistance from the Basin Reserve Trust, the Wellington City Council has come up with a proposal that is affordable, responsible and forward-looking. “Renovating and improving the Museum Stand ticks all the boxes”, says Joanna. “By restoring and giving the Museum Stand new life, the Council is recognising the special place this Heritage New Zealand registered site has in the hearts of Wellingtonians and people around the country. We can continue to be proud of this unique community and cricket venue and of its custodianship by our city.”

News from Cricket Wellington
Cricket Wellington have been intimately involved throughout the process that has led to today’s proposal and are in full support of the mayor’s recommendation regarding the Museum Stand’s future.

The proposed retention of the Museum Stand is part of the Basin Reserve’s Master Plan which has already seen the RA Vance Stand and scoreboard refurbished.

The ongoing commitment to embracing and preserving the ground’s unique built heritage has also seen the historic Groundsman’s Shed restored as part of these works.

Cricket Wellington CEO Cam Mitchell is pleased that iconic ground’s redevelopment is continuing,

“The Basin Reserve has been part of the Wellington community for more than 150 years and its great to see that heritage embraced at the same time as we shape the ground for the modern demands of international sport.

“Cricket Wellington have been involved throughout this process and we’re pleased to see it reach such a positive outcome with the Mayor’s announcement.”

With the landscape for cricket match hosting becoming increasingly competitive within New Zealand, this recommendation is important for the Basin Reserve’s long-term viability as an international cricket venue.

New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White applauded the proposal to refurbish the Museum Stand, saying the decision represented the best of both worlds.

“This will help update the Basin Reserve to the demands and requirements of modern cricket, while also helping to preserve and celebrate the rich heritage of the ground,” said Mr White. “It’s a win-win.

“Much of the character of the Basin Reserve ground stems from the great history behind it – and we think it’s appropriate and fitting that features such as the Museum Stand are retained.”

While the proposal on the Museum Stand is the first step in the next phase of the Basin Reserve’s development, Cam Mitchell outlines Cricket Wellington are positive about that future,

“We look forward to working with the Council and the community on ensuring the Basin Reserve continues to be an integral part of the city for generations to come.”

News from Cricket Museum
As the main tenant of this building for the past 30 years, the New Zealand Cricket Museum are in complete support of the council proposal.

The Museum is one of just three professional sports’ museums in New Zealand and boasts a collection in excess of 25,000 objects. Visitation to the Museum has increased each year over the past five years, while the Museum’s online following has seen enabled new and engaging connections to the wider community.

In the last six months the Museum has introduced Virtual Reality cricket – giving all visitors a chance to feel what it’s like to step out on to the Basin, launched a major project to publish a history of women in New Zealand cricket, and purchased items significant to our national history through a successful and unique crowdfunding campaign.

In recent years, the Museum has also invested heavily in representing the Basin Reserve and offering a touchpoint for visitors to the ground, whether on event days or just for visitors who are eager to see the iconic ground.

New Zealand Cricket Museum Director, Jamie Bell, spoke of the Museum’s place at the historic ground and hinted at what the future holds.

“The Basin Reserve has long been an important site for the community and the Museum has increasingly focused on being the conduit for that connection.

“As we move closer surety over the Museum Stand’s future and our place within it, we look forward to developing new experiences that celebrate the iconic Basin Reserve, our summer game, and the broader social history of Aotearoa.”

The New Zealand Cricket Museum looks forward to working with the Council, Cricket Wellington, and the Basin Reserve Trust towards ensuring a redeveloped stand becomes a vibrant feature of this historic ground.