Waikato rugby fans get a boost as Moana Pasifika match moves to Hamilton’s FMG Stadium Waikato

Moana Pasifika’s home DHL Super Rugby Pacific match against the Melbourne Rebels on Friday 8 March has been moved to Hamilton due to turf issues at North Harbour Stadium.   

With two weeks to go to the game, North Harbour Stadium operator Tātaki Auckland Unlimited (TAU) is not confident the main stadium’s playing surface will be good enough for professional rugby, given the slower than anticipated growth of the new turf.  

“Moana Pasifika has enjoyed making connections with the North Harbour community and while it’s disappointing for fans to miss out on the chance to watch the team play here, we look forward to continuing to deliver other events in the area over the next few weeks,” says Moana Pasifika CEO Pelenato Sakalia. 

“We hope to bring the team back to North Harbour Stadium for a game in the very near future and we will be discussing this with TAU.”  

“Taking the match to Waikato provides a fantastic opportunity for fans to experience Moana Pasifika’s exciting brand of Pacific flair. Therefore, strengthening our mission to be a team for the people and to reach as many communities as we can.  We want to thank the Gallagher Chiefs for their support to make this happen and welcoming us into their region at short notice.” 

TAU says a month of extreme hot weather in Auckland severely hampered the growth of the new turf, despite the best efforts of TAU’s experienced turf contractor. TAU says the safety of players is paramount, and a playing surface with poorly established turf would not provide the stability required for professional rugby.  

TAU has assisted Moana Pasifika to secure an alternative venue at FMG Stadium Waikato.   

“The original scheduled kick off time of 7:05pm will remain the same.” 

“We will be providing a refund for all ticket holders who are unable to travel to FMG Stadium for the fixture. For fans wanting to attend the match in Hamilton, we will honour and reissue tickets at no additional cost.” 

The re-turfing issues on the main stadium field will not impact the Moana Pasifika Touch Tournament on 24 February on the domain fields at North Harbour; nor the Oceania Rugby U20s Challenge which starts on 27 February on the domain fields.  


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