Two op­tions for swim­mers

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Stacey Wells’ pri­vately op­er­ated Wanaka Swim Acad­emy has been saved, for now.

An ‘‘eleventh hour’’ com­mu­nity pe­ti­tion and strong ar­gu­ments from Wanaka’s three elected coun­cil­lors swayed the Queen­stown Lakes District Coun­cil to re­ject a pro­posal for a sin­gle learn to swim provider for the town’s new aquatic cen­tre.

The rec­om­mended swim les­son provider was the coun­cil’s own Wanaka Swim School.

If the coun­cil had adopted a sin­gle provider, Wells would have been pre­vented from work­ing from the new pool when it opens in June and would have had to find an­other pool for her 300-400 swim­mers or close her 18-year-old busi­ness down.

Wanaka coun­cil­lors Quentin Smith, Calum MacLeod and Ross McRo­bie said there was no case for change and the com­mu­nity voice was loud and clear: there should be a sec­ond provider, and the com­mu­nity wanted a choice.

They were sup­ported by Queen­stown coun­cil­lors Craig Fer­gu­son, Alexa Forbes and Penny Clark.

Mayor Jim Boult’s rec­om­men­da­tion to re­ject a sole provider for Wanaka won ma­jor­ity sup­port. His next res­o­lu­tion, to in­struct coun­cil staff to call for ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est for a dual swim­ming les­son provider, was passed with­out fur­ther in­ci­dent.

Un­til this process has been com­pleted, the sta­tus quo re­main.

Par­ents can choose be­tween the Wanaka Swim Acad­emy or the Wanaka Swim School.

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