Posted by David Gledhill
Our Tour Guides - Aaron Portland & Jamie Tout
"We had no idea all this existed. Astounding!" was the common reaction on our visit to NZCIS.  We knew the buildings had been created for the Central Institute of Technology in the 1970s, and had lain barely used and unwanted for years.  Few of us knew that Malcolm Gillies and Kevin Melville purchased the site in 2016 and have invested over $30 million in developing it.  It now has accommodation for 500, conference facilities and canteens and a state of the art sport facility, the largest in New Zealand.
We were shown a gymnasium which held two full size sports fields which were surrounded by interactive screens and cameras.  We saw an enormous room with 75 exercise bikes, each individually programmable.  We saw three swimming pools and a cryogenic chamber where the temperature could be lowered to -87C.  We saw changing rooms which could be hired for exclusive use by a team for a period complete with lockers, showers and teaching areas, and we still had not seen all the buildings, let alone the outside facilities which included sports fields of excellent standard and equally excellent lights for night work.
These faculties are hired by teams such as the Phoenix and the Hurricanes and also by the Justice Department, ACC and other organisations: the whole complex is a commercial enterprise.  The hirers may have their own training staff or may make use of the Centre's expert staff. The Centre will be brilliant for the upcoming FIFA World Cup.  The whole concept is a grand achievement and a major asset for the whole Wellington region.  We are most grateful to Jamie and Aaron who showed us around and answered all our questions and to Run Honter for arranging the visit.