Vanessa van Uden
The Wanaka Community Pool is expected to reopen in a
couple of months after the Queenstown Lakes District Council
agreed to spend about $115,000 strengthening the building as a
Following a briefing from staff and professional advisers,
Mayor Vanessa van Uden announced during the public forum of
yesterday's council meeting that funds already in the Wanaka
pool budget would be channelled into the urgent repair work.
The pool was closed last Friday after an independent
engineering investigation found the building only met 20% of
the new building standard, making it officially ''earthquake
Ms van Uden said the council would make an immediate start on
designing the strengthening measures, obtaining the necessary
building consents and then carrying out the physical work as
a matter of urgency. It could take up to two months to reopen
the pool, she said.
''But we'll be working as hard as we can to make it happen as
quickly as we possibly can.''
In the meantime, the council would continue to subsidise
Wanaka swimmers' use of the Cromwell pool for the same price
as they would pay in Wanaka, after it negotiated an
arrangement with the Central Otago District Council.
Their pool concession cards would also be valid in Cromwell
and at Alpine Aqualand in Frankton.
Ms van Uden said the council was acutely aware many people
relied on access to the Wanaka pool to learn to swim, as a
training facility and for recreation and therapy.
''This is a temporary solution while we work out the best
long-term option for providing pool facilities in Wanaka,''
During the public forum via a live video feed from Wanaka,
resident Wayne Hudson said he could understand the council's
''normal paranoia'' about liability and asked if it was
possible for people to continue to use the pool in the
meantime by signing some sort of liability waiver.
''Believe me Wayne, we asked that question and the answer is
no,'' Ms van Uden said.
Aside from the general public, the council also needed to
consider pool staff and its obligation to be ''good
employers'', she added.
Wanaka Swim Club president Richard Fairbairn asked if there
would be further public consultation over where Wanaka's
community pool should be sited long-term in light of last
Ms van Uden said she could not answer that until the council
reached its ''critical decision point'' at its next meeting.
Mr Fairbairn thanked the council for its efforts in coming up
with an interim solution for swimmers.
''I'm glad we've got a way forward.''