After nearly a year, the Whanganui District Council has formally received and released a review report on roofing Whanganui’s velodrome.

It includes an “alternative design”, prepared only since last December, for a long-run roofing iron structure.

Whanganui Regional Development Trust chair Leigh Grant, whose organisation has been working on an iconic tension membrane design since forming in 2014 and formally alongside the council since 2017, says a careful comparison will need to be made between the original tension membrane design and alternative design with a long-run iron roof, commissioned by the council.

Mr  Grant says:

  • There isn’t enough detail yet published to enable a full comparison of this design with the original tension membrane design.
  • It will be necessary to accurately compare the costs and the ability of each design to deliver what is needed for wider community use and sporting events.
  • The original membrane roof design has had seven years to be fully assessed for future use, and has a resource consent in place, while the alternative design has only just been developed in recent months and needs a full assessment of its ability to deliver a fit for purpose solution.
  • From our initial reading It appears that the design includes four steel poles down the central arena, which we already know will cause major issues for international competition and probably even national cycling competition, making it able to be used for local cycling only. We are not aware of any velodrome in the world with support poles such as this.
  • The solution chosen for a roof for Whanganui’s velodrome must be fit for purpose as a multi- purpose facility. It should be able to cater for a range of sporting, cultural and community events, without affecting the use of other facilities.
  • We look forward to the opportunity to discuss and compare the cost and other aspects of each design with the council, relevant experts and the facility users. It is important to ensure the right information is available to enable the right decision to be made with and on behalf our community. This information wasn’t made available to councillors on February 9.

It is understood the council will consider the issue again at a workshop before putting documents out for public consultation in March.

The council could make a final decision on which roofing option in May 2021.

These are some of images of an alternative long-run iron-clad velodrome included in the council’s February 9 agenda, containing the reviewer’s report.

The animated fly-through of the proposed Copeland tension membrane design for a multi-purpose facility is here:

The Challenge

Whanganui has a world class velodrome. Built in 1995 to full international standards, it features a stunning, tropical hardwood surface, regarded as the fastest in the country. This surface is now becoming weathered and needs to be protected if it is to survive. In addition, being exposed to the elements, it is difficult to host major events at the track due to the potential of weather disruption.

The Solution

Roof the Velodrome. A revolutionary design has been proposed by Copeland Associates, which will provide a cost-effective solution to this long standing problem. A breathtaking dome structure, using membrane technology similar to London’s O2 Dome, would provide New Zealand’s largest single span roofed space and deliver protection for our wonderful velodrome at a fraction of the cost of a traditional roof.

Stepping Up for our Region


Invest in the future of the velodrome

have pride in your Regional Velodrome in Whanganui.


“Protect the Asset”

 Velo5000 Club Sponsor – Tony Hodge.

“I believe in it, I think it’s fantastic, I think it’ll be wonderful for Whanganui, it’s going to be great for the region. The really positive thing is so many people have come together from around the region to support it, including the Mayor of Palmerston North and Cycling NZ”.

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Cycling New Zealand is totally committed to the benefits that roofing the Regional Velodrome in Whanganui will bring to New Zealand Cycling at every level and support the Regional Velodrome Roofing Group unconditionally.

The fully developed velodrome will be a centre piece in Cycling New Zealand’s Cycling Performance Hubs.

Andrew Matheson

Chief Executive, Cycling NZ

Wanganui is one of the track designs I am really proud of.

I went away from the old-fashioned long straights and tight curves and produced a design with long sweeping curves.  It was a break with the past.

Ron Webb

International Velodrome Designer, Designer of the London 2012 Velodrome

Designed and Built

Supporting Pine Trusses

Length of Track (m)

Amazing Sports Facility