Yesterday’s meeting of Wellington City Council’s Pūroro Rangaranga Social, Cultural and Economic Committee considered three options, two of which offered varying degrees of refurbishment however it was the full rebuild, including heating of the main pool and installation of a new spa, that the majority supported.
“This was a decision that had to be weighed up carefully and in the final outcome was made for the Onslow suburbs and all Wellington residents as a whole and will prove to be an investment that will contribute to fitness and more children actively engaged and trained in the life aquatic,” said Mayor Andy Foster.
“Khandallah Pool sits in a beautiful park location much loved by Wellington swimmers, teachers and families for its unique setting and atmosphere. It’s value in terms of wellbeing is extremely high and our decision recognises that.”
“The benefits to Wellington as a whole far outweighed any option not to rebuild or to delay making a decision as was originally recommended,” said Councillor Diane Calvert who has been a long-term advocate for the upgrade.
Committee Chair Jill Day, who seconded the proposal to fund the rebuild, said the pool is an iconic outdoor facility – and with heating its use can be extended into the cooler months. “If anything there’s a growing need for pools around the city – our young people need places where they can learn to be confident and keep themselves safe in the water – but also have fun. I have great memories of fun times in the pool when I was younger.”
Cr Calvert said there was also a significant groundswell of public feedback in support including a petition of over 500 signatures, advocacy from swim professionals, support by the local MP Greg O'Connor and the many Wellingtonians who commented publicly and wrote to the Council.
“Ensuring this pool continues for many more generations of Wellingtonians goes to the heart of what councils do - providing community amenities for the people."
- The committee’s decision will be incorporated into the work for the Annual Plan noting that the budget is scheduled to commence in 2023/24
- Officers will report back in May on the scheduling for the further design work, which is to include community (local and expert) input, and the construction phase