Ma­ti­a­tia pool plan floated

Waiheke Marketplace - - Front Page - ROSE DAVIS

Auck­land pool direc­tor John Fay says a swim­ming pool on the shore at Ma­ti­a­tia would be the best op­tion for Wai­heke.

The out­door pool could use sea wa­ter and be heated with ther­mal min­eral wa­ter, which was de­tected at Ma­ti­a­tia many years ago, Fay said.

He en­vis­ages a pub­lic pool tucked into the hill­side at the west­ern end of the beach, be­low the head­land used for Sculp­ture on the Gulf.

Fay has owned a hol­i­day home at Palm Beach for 20 years and been in­volved in dif­fer­ent groups try­ing to de­velop a community pool on the is­land over the years.

‘‘I know my busi­ness and my busi­ness is pools and I know Wai­heke. Look­ing at all the other sites on Wai­heke, there’s noth­ing that re­ally works. The one place Wai­heke could de­velop a won­der­ful pool is Ma­ti­a­tia, be­cause that’s where the peo­ple are,’’ Fay said.

He is not se­ri­ously propos­ing de­vel­op­ing the pool him­self, but wants to put for­ward the idea of a pool on Ma­ti­a­tia beach.

Cur­rently the direc­tor of New­mar­ket’s Olympic Pool, Fay has been in­volved with manag­ing pub­lic pools since the 1980s and is the younger brother of busi­ness­man Sir Michael Fay.

While many Auck­land Coun­cil pools lose money, a pool at Ma­ti­a­tia could be com­mer­cially vi­able be­cause it would be eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble for lo­cals and vis­i­tors from Auck­land, he said.

Salt wa­ter re­quires less chlo­rine treat­ment and has ad­van­tages on Wai­heke, where wa­ter would oth­er­wise need to come from lim­ited aquifer sup­plies or rain­wa­ter col­lec­tion.

A spa, sauna and gym would help make the pool more fi­nan­cially vi­able and a soft plas­tic cover could be used to cover it in win­ter, he said.

A short­age of car park­ing at Ma­ti­a­tia is a po­ten­tial draw­back of the idea, but Fay said more park­ing could be de­vel­oped on coun­cil-owned land away from the his­toric urupa (Maori burial ground) on the fore­shore at Ma­ti­a­tia.

He sees po­ten­tial prob­lems with Wai­heke Pool So­ci­ety’s plans for a $5.5 mil­lion in­door pool at One­tangi Sports Park, be­cause it is too far from pool users.

Wai­heke Lo­cal Board is also in­ves­ti­gat­ing de­vel­op­ing two heated out­door pools on Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion land be­tween Wai­heke High and Te Hu­ruhi Pri­mary School.

John Fay says a pub­lic pool on Ma­ti­a­tia Beach could be com­mer­cially vi­able. ROSE DAVIS/STUFF

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