Athletes, school in new pool campaign
Yet another round of ‘‘endless consultation’’ needs to result in a ‘‘future proof’’ pool for Wanaka, Challenge Wanaka director Victoria Murray-Orr says.
She said Wanaka needed to investigate a ‘‘future proof’’ pool, of eight lanes, not six, and 50 metres in length rather than 25m.
‘‘Don’t build for now, build for 10, 20 years’ time. Build a pool that will attract the sports tourism dollar; build a pool that will be able to handle Wanaka’s growing population; build a pool that is an asset for the community now and for future generations.’’
It was vital that Wanaka had access to a pool sooner rather than later, not just because of the elite athletes who used the facility to train for upcoming triathlon the Wanaka Challenge, on February 22 next year, but for the community’s wellbeing, she said.
At a Queenstown District Lakes Council meeting at Wanaka on Thursday councillors voted unanimously on a resolution for a special consultative procedure so that Wanaka ward residents could have their say before the council made a decision about the pool.
A statement of proposal for the new Wanaka Sports facility including a lap pool and learners pool was expected to be ready for council consideration on October 30.
Feedback on at least four options, which include upgrading and adding a learners’ pool to the existing pool at a cost of $23 million to $25 million, building a new pool at Three Parks, with two indoor courts, changing rooms, storage and outdoor artificial courts, estimated to cost $13.4m, or building a standalone pool at the proposed Northlake development, would be sought from residents by the council.
Mount Aspiring College principal Wayne Bosley reiterated comments he had made to the Mirror following the pool’s closure in July.
‘‘The college’s opinion remains the same as it always has been. We support the idea of a pool being available to the young people of this community and in close proximity to the schools.’’
Wanaka elite triathlete Braden Currie said ‘‘I believe that it would be crazy to spend so much to fix and improve the old pool and it is time to move on.
‘‘I believe there should be a 50 metre pool with a divide so it can be used for school groups in the day and in the morning for training, rather than two pools. There does need to be children’s pool too but from a athlete point of pool I think a 50 metre pool is vital,’’ he said.
‘‘There is such a wealth of athletes that would love to be based in Wanaka in summer but the current pool is the only let-down. A new pool would be an amazing asset for Wanaka’s future.’’