Saxton Field

Saxton Field is a jointly-owned and funded regional sport and recreation facility benefiting the residents of Nelson and Tasman District. You can take part in a broad range of activities at Saxton Field including cricket, athletics, soccer, hockey, softball, archery and netball among others.


Saxton Field is your public space and this is your chance to let us know how you would like to see the park managed in future. The management of Saxton Field is due for a refresh – and we need your help to bring it up to date. Learn more.

Latest additions to Saxton Field

Hockey and softball pavilion

The new $2 million Saxton Field Hockey and Softball Pavilion opened in November 2010. The project came in under budget. Nelson City Council and Tasman District Council provided 63% of the funding for the building (split 60/40% between the Council’s under the Regional Facilities funding agreement) and the Hockey and Softball Associations provided the 37% balance.

The new two-storey facility, which includes a lounge and bar, two offices, two meeting rooms, changing facilities and toilets, viewing decks for softball, and a viewing window from the lounge and bar.

Nelson City Council, Tasman District Council, Hockey and Softball Associations extend sincere thanks to all sponsors, in particular the major sponsors: Nelson Pine Industries, Sprig and Fern Taverns, GJ Gardner Homes and the Canterbury Community Trust.

Did you know?

Nelson hockey got its first artificial turf field in 1993, and in 2006 the second water surface was laid. Hockey has approximately 900 registered players of all ages.  Nelson softball has approximately 600 registered players and has four all-weather diamonds at Saxton Field. Both associations host annual tournaments and the new pavilion will help attract top national events.

Saxton Pavilion

The Cricket, athletics and football pavilion received a $400,000 grant from the Lottery Community Facilities Funding. The amount was applied towards the $3.8 million construction costs of the new cricket, athletics and football facility. Council supported the Saxton Field Pavilion Charitable Trust’s work to raise funds for the construction costs through a sponsorship naming rights arrangement.

The new pavilion is located with viewing areas over the athletics track, soccer pitch and cricket oval. In combination with the existing cricket oval, utility building and practice wicket the pavilion meets New Zealand Cricket Warrant of Fitness Guidelines for all first class cricket matches. The pavilion was also designed so that it met New Zealand athletics requirements for meetings. The requirements of soccer for National League competitions are also met.

The build took six months, with the facility being opened in November 2011. The pavilion is available for other events and for use as a meeting facility for local community groups and residents.

Saxton Stadium

Find out  more about the Saxton Stadium.

Cricket Oval

Saxton Oval has ICC (International Cricket Council) accreditation for international cricket games. In January 2014 the Oval hosted the Black Caps v West Indies. The Cricket Association reports they are happy with the playing surface and with the ground being prepared to international standards. The wicket was constructed of special clay from Waikari in North Canterbury that is renowned for its true and consistent bounce.

The Oval will host three ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 games: West Indies v Ireland on 16 February, Zimbabwe v Qualifier 4 on 19 February and Bangladesh v Qualifier 3 on 5 March.

Picnics and play

You don’t have to be a sports jock to enjoy Saxton Field! This proposal provides for more ‘passive’ or less formal enjoyment, with small playgrounds dotted around the park, as well as a larger playground that is intended to be a regional attraction (like the Lions Playground at Tahunanui).

There will be a pond that could be used by modellers, with a picnic and play area alongside it. Around the whole complex, there will be a layout of walkways, a fitness circuit, and paths for roller-bladers.

Looking back

The first parcel of land at Saxton Field was bought by the Nelson City Council in 1977. In 1983, work started on the first sports facility and the site was planted up with trees and shrubs. There is a buffer of native trees along the main road and deciduous, trees including oaks and liquidambers, around the field. Read more about the history of Saxton Field.

Keeping it flexible

Another aim with the landscaping is to limit the use of barriers to keep the open feel and to consolidate or share the buildings so they have a minimal environmental impact. The majority of the grounds are designed for multiple use - for example some of the netball courts can be converted for tennis in summer; the proposed netball stadium could also be used by basketball and volleyball; the internal roadways can be used for speed skating or cycling and the passive areas lend themselves to cross country running.

Sports codes have been asked to try and predict their future growth, but some playing areas have been left un-designated for particular codes, to retain flexibility for future use. There are some codes not considered for Saxton Field, as their needs are being met elsewhere - these include rugby league and union, and horse riding.

More information

For more information on Saxton Field please contact the Parks and Facilities Asset Planner by email or on +64 3 546 0200.

Please note all Nelson City Council facilities are smokefree.