Pool options up for more consultation

Ruth Stokes
Ruth Stokes
The location of the Wanaka community swimming pool is one of the questions going back out for public consultation.

Queenstown Lakes District Council general manager operations Ruth Stokes said in a one-line email to the Otago Daily Times yesterday: ''The consultation will cover all options, including locations.''

Last Thursday, the council considered a recommendation from Ms Stokes for a $9.7 million, 25m, six-lane pool to be added, in 2020-21, to the $13 million sports facility to be built in the new Three Parks subdivision.

However, it decided more consultation was needed before giving the go-ahead.

The meeting approved a motion from deputy mayor Lyal Cocks the council ''direct officers to prepare documents for a special consultative procedure with all residents within the Wanaka ward on a proposal to build a lap and a learners pool as part of stage 1 of the Wanaka Sports Facility development''.

While that suggested the pool was to be part of the sports facility in the new Three Parks subdivision, council chief executive Adam Feeley told the meeting the council would be legally required to consult on all options.

With Ms Stokes' email yesterday, it became clear that would include options previously discussed for sites other than Three Parks.

They include upgrading the existing pool next to Mt Aspiring College in Plantation Rd, building a new pool at Kellys Flat, as some have suggested, or getting involved with a private pool to be built at the Northlake subdivision.

Several speakers at the council meeting, including Wanaka swimming identity Maurice Duckmanton, argued the Three Parks site was ''out in the country'' and too far from Wanaka's schools.

College board of trustees chairman Richard Hemingway told the ODT this week the college's view remained unchanged.

''Our preference is for the swimming pool facilities to be located where they are.''

And college principal Wayne Bosley said the existing location meant it was ''relatively straightforward'' for Wanaka's three schools to get students to the pool, whereas a pool at Three Parks would require transport to be provided.

The college's biggest group of pool users was 200 year 7 and 8 students involved in a water-based programme in term two.

He also believed the existing site provided better access for young people after school and at weekends.

The Three Parks site is more than 2km from the college.


Chrome plated niceties

IanP is fed up with all the talk and "consultation" about the projected Mosgiel pool taking up money and time and writes, "Just build the thing and build it cheaply - no chrome plated niceties that cater to a small subset of potential users."  I can't help wondering if there aren't some people's driving this who are determined that they must have the top-end facilities because of the "small subset of potential users". Overwhelming importance to their ambitions for the facility may be preventing "Just build the thing".  Like kids who know the value of nag-power, perhaps they believe that continued badgering will wear down Council until they say yes to whatever is demanded.  Could it be that they count on being aided by support from the community not caring whether it's "chrome plated" or not, they just want to swim this century so they demand it go ahead whatever the specs, no matter how over-the-top for general community use?

Endless talking

Oh for goodness sake, hasn't there been enough talking and opportunities to put forward views? At this rate, it'll be built in 2030...maybe.

Just build the thing and build it cheaply - no chrome plated niceties that cater to a small subset of potential users.  Someone on the council has to actually make a decision some time, don't they?