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Public’s safety top priority at National Stadium

Saturday 27 April 2024 | Written by Supplied | Published in Local, National


Public’s safety top priority at National Stadium
National Stadium grandstand’s previous handrails simply didn’t meet current safety standards, as they were too low at 900mm, and the design allowed for potential climbing hazards. CIIC/24042630

The grandstand at Rarotonga’s National Stadium - Ta’ua ‘Emo’anga, has undergone a significant safety makeover.

Following the successful completion of initial remedial works on the National Stadium’s grandstand led by Cook Islands Investment Corporation (CIIC), another safety upgrade has been unveiled.

“The CIIC project, completed in September, addressed crucial structural elements beneath the grandstand,” explains CIIC CEO Allan Jensen.

“This vital work laid the foundation for the next phase of improvements.”

Ralph Adams says the previous handrails simply didn’t meet current safety standards, as they were too low at 900mm, and the design allowed for potential climbing hazards.

The solution? Brand new handrails reaching a safer height of 1100mm, he says.

Combined with the vertical bar design, it effectively discourages climbing attempts by children, ensuring a worry-free experience for everyone.

Improvements go beyond the handrails. The project encompassed a comprehensive safety overhaul.

“We started with essential steel reinforcements underneath the grandstand, building upon the work completed by CIIC, and completed the project with the replacement of the handrails and the construction of a higher back wall.”

Like many infrastructure projects CIIC is managing, the project took a little longer than expected, due to unforeseen challenges that arose along the way. 

“Securing the necessary materials proved to be a hurdle,” Adams says.

“Finding the specific steel calibre required, or even a compliant alternative, took extra time. Even seemingly simple items like flashing for the back wall faced delays due to material shortages on the island.”

Despite these challenges, the project’s success is undeniable, Jensen says.

“The positive feedback has been overwhelming. While we don’t have specific quotes, everyone can appreciate the clear improvement in safety for all grandstand users.”

These latest upgrades to the handrails and the higher backdrop wall cost approximately $65,000 and the project builds upon the $150,000 earlier in the year on structural elements under the grandstand.

This investment by CIIC signifies continued commitment to public safety, Jensen says.

CIIC is currently assessing a number of other improvements to the National Stadium, which are expected to be phased over the coming few years, including ongoing maintenance work on the grandstand, drainage, turf, lighting, and track upgrades.

“Next time you visit the Ta’ua ‘Emo’anga, the National Stadium, rest assured that your safety is a top priority,” he says.

“With a reinforced grandstand structure, the new, taller handrails, a reinforced structure and a higher back wall, you can enjoy the sports experience with complete peace of mind.”

  • Jaewynn McKay/CIIC