An indoor ice rink has been thrown into the mix of possible
facilities for Wanaka's $16.8 million sports complex.
Cardrona Curling Club secretary-treasurer Roger Gardiner says
having an ice facility and an aquatic centre at the Wanaka
complex would improve viability through the sharing of energy
costs, while providing added opportunities for the town.
''It would potentially create an ice space that would be
available for ice skating, ice hockey, curling, all those
sorts of sports which in the past have never really ever been
contemplated for Wanaka.
''If you think of what ice has done for Naseby, it could be
quite an attraction for tourists, visitors, locals to have
another activity to participate in.''
The latest round of Queenstown Lakes District Council
consultation is under way for the sports complex, which has a
budget big enough for either an aquatic centre or an indoor
sports facility in stage one.
An aquatic centre was identified as top priority in a 2011
council survey, but many people in the community think new
swimming facilities should be closer to schools, rather than
at the Three Parks subdivision on the outskirts of Wanaka
where the sports complex is to be built.
Taking into account a proposal to relocate Alexandra's
artificial ice rink to a site next to the town's pool and the
successful operation of a combined ice rink and swimming pool
complex in Gore, Mr Gardiner believed the concept could work
well in Wanaka.
He suggested land next to any future aquatic centre be kept
available for an ice complex.
''I would think that if you were to start with a fresh,
greenfields, clean sheet of paper, it's a no-brainer not to
join the two together from the very beginning.
''Ice and swimming would be very compatible in terms of
sharing changing facilities or ... whatever, so it spreads
the cost over a greater number of people.''
He had also raised the idea with sports facility steering
group chairman Duncan Good, but would wait to see if the
group decided indoor courts or an aquatic centre was the
preferred stage one option before taking things any further.
Mr Good said he had no specific comment on the ice rink idea
or any other options at this stage.
''We're just going through feedback and we'll review it all
at the end of the month.''
The steering group is holding meetings with sports and
community groups at present to see whether the needs and
priorities they signalled in earlier consultation have
A survey on the QLDC website is open until the end of the
month and a public drop-in session at the Lake Wanaka Centre
is scheduled for February 27, starting at 7pm.