Swimming pool upgrade proposed

An upgrade of Wanaka's present swimming pool rather than a new aquatic centre in the town's proposed new sports facility has been recommended to the Queenstown Lakes District Council by the Wanaka Sports Facility steering group.

The group's recommendation is on the agenda for today's council meeting, being held in Wanaka.

After a recent round of public consultation, the group has delivered a list of priorities for the new facility to be built in the 112ha Three Parks development south of the Wanaka golf course.

The group said ''given potential funding constraints and community priorities'', it recommended a ''reduced stage 1'' facility that would comprise two indoor courts, change and storage facilities, an outdoor mixed-use artificial surface, toilets, casual recreation space and car parking.

As well, it recommended a refurbishment of the existing Wanaka community pool to include an independent learn-to-swim pool, new changing rooms and entry area, and improvements to plant.

The proposal does not include sports fields as part of stage 1 but suggests they were likely to be required ''well within'' the next 10 years.

Council general manager, operations, Ruth Stokes and chief executive Adam Feeley recommended the group's proposals be included in the draft annual plan and that staff continue with concept plans including detailed capital and operating cost estimates.

These should be available to the council by June 30.

They also recommended rating options for the facility be included in the draft annual plan to be adopted next month. In a discussion document, council staff said the sports facility being recommended would cost $12.3 million and the pool upgrade $2.1 million.

The cost if an aquatic centre was also included would be $25.6 million.

''[Council] officers consider the option recommended by the [steering group] is a pragmatic solution for the Upper Clutha district for the next 10 years,'' the document said.


Swimming pool upgrade

After the many consultations I would love to see the feedback. Members of the Wanaka community have spent a lot of time and effort replying to numerous surveys and questionaires and it would be nice to see the official results of these focus groups and replies to council. Every press release seems to be contrary to public opininion, so it would seem necessary to publish all of the results of the steering group consultations. 

I am still at a loss how Gore can produce superior facilities for a fraction of the cost. It would be good to see the quotations for the facilities that have been tendered (and if such a process has even been performed).

If this process continues for a further generation (which seems likely) how much more will the costs increase and therefore the unlikelihood of a sports facility that the community can be proud of be built.

Wanaka despite its rapidly increasing population (and rates returns) is destined to have an infrastruture and facilities which is far inferior to many towns of similar size in New Zealand.

It can be easily argued that this is already the case.  


I am outraged that this is the outcome of this process.  This is the most compromised solution possible for the Wanaka Community.  Not only do we not get our much needed aquatic facility, we get a much reduced and unsustainable stage 1 facility.  We get less and it costs more.   If this is adopted by council today it is a very sad day for the Wanaka community.