The pool has been closed since April this year after Council received engineering advice that raised concerns about the building’s performance in the event of a significant earthquake. Since then, Council has made it a priority to progress a solution.
The Council agreed to consult and engage with the community of Lower Hutt on a range of options to return a pool and to achieve a wider vision for a vibrant Naenae which could include a community hub. Funding of these options will also be subject to community consultation and engagement.
Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace says “We want to see Naenae prosper. Now we will re-engage with our community working with you side by side. Naenae Pool has been an important facility for the local community, and equally for the many other pool users from across Lower Hutt and the wider region. That’s why the council has made it a priority to find a solution, and officers have done some good work in a short space of time to ensure we are well-positioned to consider the options.”
“The closure of the pool has left us facing some difficult decisions as a solution requires significant expenditure. It will be vital that everyone in our community has the opportunity to help shape the future and resolve this major project for our city.”
New Hutt City Council Chief Executive Jo Miller says she has heard the community and recognises the wider question raised by residents regarding the future of Naenae. “Next steps need to be shaped by council and community working together utilising the skills and expertise that exist in the community.”
“These facilities become the beating heart of their communities, and when we invest in them we have to make sure they are fit-for-purpose and meet the needs of the communities, whānau and individuals who will use them,” she said.
“At the same time it’s our role to make sure council’s financial strength is maintained. I encourage everyone to have their say on this important decision.”
After Local Body Elections in October, the new Council will meet to consider community feedback and decide on which option to progress. Consultation may then be required to add the project to Council’s Long Term Plan through an amendment. A final decision should be made by March 2020.
Decision of Council
At today’s Additional Ordinary Council Meeting, Councillors considered several options for both the solution and how it would be funded. They agreed to consult and engage on the following project options with the community whilst not specifically limited to:
- new integrated pool and community hub;
- refurbishment of pool and separate new or existing community hub sited in Everest Avenue;
- new pool only;
- new pool on existing site and separate hub elsewhere in Naenae (e.g. Hillary Court); or
- refurbishment of pool only.
Council also agreed to consult and engage with the community on the following funding options:
- debt funding;
- rates increase
- removing or deferring projects already in the Long Term Plan;
- asset sales;
- reducing Council services; or
- combination of the above.
Council ruled out do nothing as an option.
For background information on Naenae Pool and other projects happening in Naenae, visit our Have Your Say website.