The job of reaching a consensus over what facilities get
priority in Wanaka's new sports complex could be a tricky
The Queenstown Lakes District Council is consulting the
public as it gets set to make a start on a proposed $16
million facility in the Three Parks subdivision on the
outskirts of Wanaka later this year.
Steering group chairman Duncan Good plans to deliver a list
of priorities to the council in time for its meeting on March
He suggested on Tuesday the budget was big enough to have an
aquatic centre or an indoor sports facility in stage one, but
A 2011 public survey by the council put an aquatic centre top
of the priority list.
However, those with swimming interests spoken to by the
Otago Daily Times this week threw up several different
preferences - all of which have been debated for several
One of the strongest voices in the call for better swimming
facilities has been that of Mount Aspiring College board of
trustees member Paul Tamati.
But he told the ODT he believed the Three Parks site
was too far from schools.
The existing community pool is next door to the college.
''My concern now is that if it goes right out to Three Parks
you have got to bus children out there. Who's paying for
that?He suggested a centre would be better sited at Kellys
Flat, in Aubrey Rd.
Wanaka Swim Academy owner Stacey Wells also thought the Three
Parks site was too far from town for children to walk or
cycle to but she favours a new pool facility at the Wanaka
A&P grounds with facilities shared with existing sports
Mrs Wells believed Wanaka did not need an ''over the top''
aquatic centre but simply a learners' pool less than 1m deep,
about 15m long and warmer than the existing community pool.
Those spoken to by the ODT at the pool yesterday
morning pointed out the difficulty of fitting in groups as
diverse as preschool children learning to swim and
multisports athletes preparing for Challenge Wanaka.
The pool is kept at 28degC and 29degC, which is about 3degC
too cold for small children, but on the warm side for adults
Jo Goodwin, of Lake Hawea, said her two preschoolers tended
to lose interest in swimming after five minutes.
''The pool is too deep and too cold for children,'' she said.
Wanaka Basketball Club president Kate Jerram agreed the town
needed a new pool but she was unhappy the consultation
process was ''playing off'' sporting codes against each
She believed the council needed to recognise the growth in
the number of children in Wanaka and the lack of indoor
facilities for them.
Those that did exist were small and in big demand from adults
and children alike.
Mrs Jerram said the lack of facilities meant the basketball
competition for 20 children's teams was held outside in
summer rather than indoors during the basketball season.
A spokeswoman for the Upper Clutha Netball Centre said the
organisation's stance during the previous debate had been
that there was an urgent need for indoor courts for the
hundreds of up-and-coming netballers.