Wanaka pool must stay open
Ihad a perfectly good piece drafted this week but a much bigger local issue landed flat in our laps – the Wanaka swimming pool being shut down with no warning except a hasty press release.
What the hell is going on? It has been perfectly fine for the past 30 years and now at the stroke of the pen and the apparent lack of earthquake resilience (20 per cent of the Christchurch-focused earthquake standard) it is deemed no longer safe. Well, it was perfectly safe up to last Friday lunchtime!
Wanaka has had many jolts over the years and that building hasn’t moved an inch. I believe what we have going on is a knee-jerk reaction, a combination of the earthquake risk assumption and the assumption that engineer Tony Major, recently booted from the Institution of Professional Engineers and involved in the initial design, makes our pool flagged as at-risk and deemed unfit for use.
It’s bureaucratic lunacy. Can someone at the top in QLDC get a grip, take a big shot of common sense and understand the massive repercussions this decision means not just to the swim teachers, coaches and employees but to the whole community this side of the Crown Range.
That tiny, under equipped and largely basic pool hosts not only our whole communities learn-to-swim programme, but also a HUGE wealth of talent, both emerging and established. Swimmers at national and international level come out of that pool at a level way out of proportion to its size. It hosts international athlete training programmes which bring teams of people with them.
This bombshell has to be dealt to with absolute urgency. Already, a plethora of short-term plans by community members have been mulled over, such as removing the roof and placing a blow up dome over the top - but anything is preferable to having it shut. This pool was originally created by the community when the council wouldn’t. I amsure the solution for this will also come from within.
Plunge-ready: Siblings Eva, 15, and Tom Goodisson, get their feet wet in Lake Wanaka as they prepare to take the plunge as part of the latest social media craze dubbed the Ice Challenge. The pair were visiting their granddad Lowell Croft, of Wanaka, when they were nominated to take part in the challenge. The challenge involved people submerging or having buckets of cold water poured over them to raise funds and awareness for cancer. Lake Wanaka has been the stage of many people taking part, including a group who covered the wharf with snow and skied off it.