Saxton Field vision

During the consultation on a proposed upgrade of Trafalgar Park, members of the public frequently commented that Saxton Field makes sense for a rugby stadium and that all sport should be located there because it’s a regional facility.

Saxton Field was originally envisaged as a large recreational facility with green space, passive recreation amenities, and fields for participation sports, much like Hagley Park in Christchurch. The planning took place in the early 1980s and both Nelson and Tasman decided to not create space for a rugby stadium within Saxton Field. The reasoning at the time was based on the idea that rugby had an adequate facility in place (Trafalgar Park) and it would cost more to build a new facility than it would to upgrade the existing one.

Further, rugby is the sport with historically the largest number of spectators, requiring an overall capacity of some 15,000 in the venue. The 2002 Nelson Tasman Regional Facilities Plan stated that:

The re-development of Trafalgar Park as the major regional outdoor stadium with substantial grandstand capacity is logical due to its location close to the Nelson CBD and as part of the Event Precinct as proposed in this Plan. The development of several smaller scale venues to remove or mitigate the increasing conflict in the needs of the various sports is likely to be a viable strategy for the region. Saxton Field is the logical alternative location to develop a cluster of smaller scale outdoor venues with shared pavilion facilities.

According to current plans now within the Long-term Council Community Plan (LTCCP), rugby is not in the cards for Saxton Field, but a large variety of other sport is either available now at Saxton Field or planned for in the coming years.

What sport takes place at Saxton Field

The long-term plan is for Saxton Field to become the major regional outdoor sports venue – It will be the regional base for sports such as

  • athletics
  • hockey            
  • netball
  • basketball
  • cricket

And there will be numerous playing fields for:

  • cricket
  • kiwi cricket
  • soccer
  • volleyball
  • table tennis
  • softball
  • netball
  • hockey
  • archery

Recent highlights in Saxton Field’s development

Soccer pavilion completed

The new pavilion features showers, toilets and changing rooms, and kitchen facilities for after-match social gatherings.

Indoor stadium

A new indoor sports stadium is being built adjacent to the netball courts. It will cover 7,000m2 to accommodate space for five international sized netball or basketball courts, 12 volleyball courts, a separate purpose built table tennis area, and space for administrative offices.

Cricket Oval

The cricket oval is now in use by senior clubs. Plans are being developed to add a maintenance shed with public toilets and utilities to facilitate the holding of concerts.


Athletics have moved from Trafalgar Park to Saxton Field and the addition of an athletics, cricket and soccer pavilion with changing facilities is in the LTCCP for 2011.