Prime Minister visits new Naenae Pool construction site

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins, Hon Ginny Anderson, Mayor Campbell Barry and Councillor Andy Mitchell banner image

Published: 22 June 2023

The Prime Minister and MP for Remutaka Rt Hon Chris Hipkins visited the site of the new Naenae Pool and Fitness Centre in Lower Hutt this afternoon, where construction is progressing well and towering 16m concrete panels and 37m manufactured timber beams are now in place.

He was joined by Minister Ginny Andersen, MP for Hutt South, Lower Hutt Mayor Campbell Barry, Eastern Ward Councillor Andy Mitchell, and the project team for a tour of construction site of the new pool which will open in late 2024.

“Naenae Pool is tracking on time and on budget. When complete it will be New Zealand’s first Green Star Five rated aquatic facility – meaning we’ve put our environment first through the demolition and construction phases, and that it will be energy efficient when operating.

“The Government has been incredibly supportive of this project through the Infrastructure Reference Group fund, and it was great to be able to show Prime Minister Hipkins the progress being made,” says Mayor Barry.

One of the biggest infrastructure projects underway in Te Awa Kairangi Lower Hutt, the pool will replace the original 1950s Olympic pool in Naenae.

90% of all building materials from the original pool were recycled or reused, saving more than 13,000 tonnes of scrap metal and concrete from going to landfill. For example, concrete from the pool and bleachers was crushed on site and re-used to fill the pool void.

The project team gifted the Prime Minister and Minister Anderson each a cheeseboard

made from recycled timber from the pool project- the timber itself was salvaged from the Naenae Community Hall.

The design of the pool was heavily influenced by feedback from the community and is advised by a community advisory group who represent the views of Naenae residents. In addition to the community benefits of health and wellbeing, engaging the community and environmental efficiency, Hutt City Council has sought local economic opportunities through the project.

“One of the exciting differences with this project is our target of using 80% of local suppliers from the Hutt Valley and wider Wellington Region, ensuring the build supports local businesses right through the construction process,” says Andrea Blackshaw, Hutt City Council’s Director of Neighbourhoods and Communities.

In 2021 Council approved a budget of $68m as part of the 10-year plan. In 2020 Council received co-funding of $27m from central government as part of investment in Infrastructure Response and Recovery, which is managed through a partnership with Crown Infrastructure Partners (CIP).