The meeting was well-attended, with around 200 coming along to share their views and find out more about the options for community facilities in Naenae.
“I thank everyone who came tonight to share their thoughts on the future of Naenae. It was a good opportunity for Councillors to hear directly from the community about their hopes for the future and how Council can work with them to create facilities and spaces that will suit their needs,” said Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace.
The Naenae Pool is valued not only by the local community but also the wider Hutt Valley community and beyond, with 450,000 visits annually and 70% of those visitors coming from outside Naenae.
“Some concerns were raised, which is natural given the importance of Naenae Pool to the community, but the meeting overall was productive and positive. I’m looking forward to further discussion in the coming weeks and months about how we can move forward to shape a better Naenae town centre in the future”
The meeting outlined future options for a pool in Naenae, which are currently being developed, assessed and costed. These are:
- Strengthen and fix the current Naenae Pool facility
- Build a new pool facility
- Build a new pool and hub Integrated Facility
Mayor Wallace said it was great to be able to give the community an update on Council’s options.
“While these options have yet to be fully developed or costed it was great to be able to share them with the community and talk to Naenae residents and other pool users about the possible advantages and disadvantages of each option.”
Local Eastern Ward Councillor Glenda Barratt said the meeting was productive and an opportunity to reiterate the Council’s commitment to finding a solution.
“Tonight’s meeting was about showing our community we are listening and are committed to finding a solution for the community. Naenae remains a top priority for the Council in its decision making over any major projects."
Fellow Eastern Ward Councillor Lisa Bridson agreed, adding that Council is also doing what it can to support local businesses in Naenae while a solution is worked on.
"We have been looking at ways to support local businesses, because we know some of them are struggling. We’ve implemented business support clinics alongside the Chamber of Commerce, a ‘buy local’ campaign, and we’re also looking at ways we can increase activity in and around Hillary Court. The community also had some good ideas that we will be looking into."
Mayor Wallace finished the meeting by encouraging people to work with Council as it further develops the options and to support local businesses while this work is happening.
“Council remains fully committed to finding a solution to the pool but whatever it is, it won’t happen overnight. I encourage locals to make sure they support their local shops and businesses by buying locally.”
Council will meet late June 2019 to consider options for the pool.
Naenae residents will be kept up to date through Council’s regular communication channels and two new noticeboards on the external wall of Naenae Library which will feature projects details, timelines and eventually design options.