Staged build for new Am­ber­ley Pool


The Am­ber­ley Pool project has found an af­ford­able way for­ward. The Hurunui District Coun­cil (HDC) has in­cluded the con­struc­tion of a new Am­ber­ley Pool fa­cil­ity in its draft Long-Term Plan, which goes out for con­sul­ta­tion at the end of March.

Hurunui coun­cil­lor Ju­lia McLean, a log time cam­paigner for the Am­ber­ley Pool, said it was ex­cit­ing to move for­ward with the project.

‘‘The is­sue has been hang­ing over the com­mu­nity for far too long and now a clear way for­ward has been found,’’ McLean said.

‘‘No one around the coun­cil ta­ble was com­fort­able to sign this off un­til it was ac­tu­ally af­ford­able, and could be done.’’

The HDC has pro­posed a twostage build. Stage One will set aside $1.5m in the 2018/19 year to build two new heated out­door pools – a learn to swim pool and a 25m pool.

McLean said the pool would op­er­ate much like school or com­mu­nity pool, with a key pur­chase or sea­son passes. The plan ex­cludes pool staff to keep op­er­a­tional costs down. The pool’s cap­i­tal and op­er­a­tional costs will be funded by Am­ber­ley Ward rates only. The an­nual rate for the Am­ber­ley Ward of $89 is no change from the cur­rent rate.

‘‘That will be a huge re­lief to so many peo­ple who had been con­cerned with a pos­si­ble $200 rate in­crease for a swim­ming pool they may never use.’’

Stage Two is the con­struc­tion of walls and roof to cre­ate an in­door fa­cil­ity that can op­er­ate all year round. Fund­ing for the sec­ond stage will be re­viewed in the next LTP in three years’ time.

‘‘The staged ap­proach means the com­mu­nity will have a mod­ern swim­ming pool quickly and the abil­ity to fu­ture proof it depend­ing on our com­mu­nity’s growth.’’

Ear­lier this year the Am­ber­ley Ward Com­mit­tee rec­om­mended to the HDC that a new pool be built rather than an at­tempt to up­date or mod­ernise the cur­rent pool. To build the es­ti­mated $4.5m pool fa­cil­ity in one go, with year round op­er­at­ing costs, the an­nual rates worked out to around $200 per rate­able unit in the Am­ber­ley Ward un­til the cap­i­tal to build the pool was re­paid. Then the op­er­at­ing cost of around $120 per year per prop­erty would con­tinue in­fini­tum.

The staged op­tion negates the rate im­pact and means they could start con­struc­tion next year.


The 90-year-old Am­ber­ley Swim­ming Pool is set to be repalced by a new fa­cil­ity

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