Late yesterday afternoon, Wanaka went from a town without a
swimming pool to a town with two swimming pools in prospect.
The existing Wanaka pool closed on Friday after an
engineering assessment confirmed the building was a ''very
low level'' earthquake risk.
That caused upset among swimmers who flooded the Queenstown
Lakes District Council with comments.
Then yesterday at 5.15pm, council general manager operations
Ruth Stokes sent an email to media saying the council was
''moving quickly'' to consider all options including the
''extent and cost of remedial strengthening work that would
be required to reopen in the short term''.
But she also revived an idea for a new pool in Wanaka's Three
That idea was rejected by the council in March in favour of a
$2.1 million upgrade and expansion of the existing pool, now
Staff were ''already assessing options for upgrading the pool
and adding a learners' pool, before Friday's closure,'' she
''Another possibility under consideration is to build a
completely new facility at the Three Parks site along with
the new Wanaka Sports Facility.
''We are continuing to evaluate the viability of those
options,'' Mrs Stokes said.
Her email pipped by just one minute an email from the
developers planning the huge Northlake residential
development on the outskirts of the town.
Planner John Edmonds said in his email a new 25m indoor
public swimming pool was one of the ''key features'' of the
''A 25m indoor public swimming pool, land allocated for
affordable housing, a child care centre, convenience retail
stores and sports facilities will be key features of a new
housing development in Wanaka,'' Mr Edmonds said, pointing
out the council had still to approve the plan change required
for the development to go ahead.
''The new pool building, which will also include a gym, has
been designed to fit with the Wanaka landscape, in the
classic style of a high country station shearing shed,'' he
''The pool will be permanently available for public use.''
Mr Edmonds said the developers would approach the council to
discuss options to fast-track the new swimming pool in stage
1 of the North-lake development.
''This could result in the new swimming pool being available
for the public by 2015.''
• Ms Stokes said the council was finalising details with the
Central Otago District Council so Wanaka residents could swim
at the Cromwell pool for the same price as they would have
paid in Wanaka, by producing proof of residence.
Pass-holders could also use their passes at the Cromwell
Ms Stokes aid the arrangements should be firmed up ''within
days'' and passes would be honoured at Alpine Aqualand in