Khandallah Pool redevelopment

We’re working on a plan to redevelop Khandallah Pool and park entrance.

Khandallah Pool is a much-loved outdoor community swimming facility that first opened in 1925. The site is picturesque but constrained, with limitations around carparking and access.

The pool requires significant work to bring it up to current aquatic facility standards and the buildings are earthquake-prone and require remediation by January 2030. The required building consent would necessitate mitigation of the identified natural hazards of the site, which include flood and slip risks.

Options summary

The Council has explored a range of options for the future of the pool and has engaged with Khandallah community representatives and stakeholders via a Community Reference Group.

The wider community has the opportunity to provide feedback on the future of Khandallah Pool via the Long-term Plan 2024-34 consultation process, which is open from 12 April to 12 May 2024.

Original options – February 2022

In February 2022, Council discussed seven concepts of new investment for the future of the pool. This included: replacing the building, maintaining the current level of service, development within the existing pool tank, increasing the level of service by a full rebuild, creation of a splash pad, a potential commercial partnership for hot pools, and the creation of a landscape park.

After undertaking economic and environmental feasibility assessments, more detail was provided on three options:

  • Option 1: maintain the status quo with the current level of service,
  • Option 2: increase the level of service, or
  • Option 3: change the type of service.

In February 2022, Council resolved to ‘increase the level of service’, which meant rebuilding the full structure (option 2), subject to further detailed design and community (place and interest) engagement.

To inform detailed design the following site research was undertaken: a topographical survey, geotechnical investigation, flood hazard investigation and modelling, and infrastructure review.

These works identified several physical restrictions and risks at the site which mean that either of option 1 (maintaining the status quo with the current level of service) or option 2 (increase the level of service) would require a rebuild of the pool structure.

Updated options – February 2024

On 15 February 2024, the Council’s Long-term Plan, Finance, and Performance Committee voted to include funding for a landscape (non-pool) option in Wellington’s Draft Long-term Plan 2024-34, for community consultation.

Council officers outlined in committee papers that the combination of high construction costs, significant site constraints, a reduced pool size, and low pool usage would contribute to a low value outcome for the level of investment required for a new Khandallah Pool.

View Council report from 15 February 2024 (pages 23-25) (35.7MB PDF)

February 2024 options update:

Landscape (decrease level of service) Rebuild (increase level of service) Status quo (maintain level of service)
Not preferred
Not progressed
Current estimate: $4.5m
Annual operating costs: $0.34m
Current estimate: $11.5m
Annual operating costs: $1.1m
Not applicable
Scope of works:
  • Demolition and landscaping
  • Improving flood mitigation
  • Creating a new entranceway into Khandallah Park.
Scope of works:
  • Mitigating identified natural hazards by raising height of concourse by 1.8m and locating pool and buildings away from stream and adjacent bank.
  • Resulting decrease in size of pool to 25m x 7.5m
  • Building modern changing rooms and pool plant facilities
  • Rebuilding the pool including a heated section and splashpad
  • Ensure facility and pool meet required accessibility standards.
Scope of works:
  • It is not an option to maintain the current pool or do a like-for-like replacement due to the identified natural hazards.

The cost of $11.7m to rebuild the pool within the physical site constraints is now more expensive than when it was considered by the Council in 2022 ($8.05m). This estimated cost could result in a potential increase in ratepayer subsidy per swim from $25 per swim (in the 2022/23 year) to $60-$80 per swim.

The Council is therefore proposing to close the pool and landscape the site, including improving flood mitigation, and creating a new entranceway into Khandallah Park. This would be designed with accessibility in mind to support family and community gatherings and events. Work to date on the concept plan includes large flat grassed areas for play, picnics and events, a structure for small community events, and restoration of the stream. Current estimates to deliver this option are $4.5m. Annual operating costs are estimated at $0.34m.

Your feedback

Wellingtonians are invited to give feedback on the proposed approach for Khandallah Pool, as part of the Council’s Long-term Plan consultation process. Consultation will be open from 12 April to 12 May 2024.

For more information on the Long-term Plan process, to sign up for updates, and have your say visit our Kōrero Mai | Let's Talk website.

Following consultation and a decision on the future of the pool via the Long-term Plan, the community will be invited to share their ideas, to inform a detailed design for the site.

Community Reference Group

We have engaged with Khandallah community representatives and stakeholders via a Community Reference Group. We provided the outcomes of technical site investigations and the high-level costing of pool and landscape concepts.

Feedback included a range of opinions from those wishing to proceed with a pool rebuild, to those more in favour of improving environmental outcomes through a better park entrance and landscaping. Meetings with the Community Reference Group have now concluded.

The wider community has the opportunity to provide feedback on the future of Khandallah Pool via the Long-term Plan 2024-34 consultation process.


Khandallah Pool is an outdoor, unheated pool, open to the public from December to March each year.

The facility is showing its age, particularly the buildings which have seismic issues, and the original structured design of the pool is no longer fit-for-purpose for aquatic leisure.

At the Pūroro Rangaranga, Social, Cultural and Economic Committee meeting on 3 February 2022, the Council reviewed an Options Report for the future of the Khandallah Pool.

View Council report from 3 February 2022 (page 7) (23.2MB PDF)

The Council decided to proceed with an increased level of service which means a full rebuild of the pool structure, and other site enhancements with an expected cost of $8.05 million dollars. Since this time, external technical reports have been undertaken which indicate a number of challenges with the site and a higher cost-estimate for the re-build of a pool.