I was in Naenae this morning with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as she announced that the Government will invest $27 million towards the rebuild of Naenae Pool!
This is a truly momentous day for Naenae, and Lower Hutt. I know from speaking to local people, and local businesses that the closure of the pool has hit the community particularly hard.
Kids have lost their local swimming pool, seniors lost an important social outlet, sports like waterpolo were shifted elsewhere, and businesses felt the pinch as foot traffic declined once the pool was closed.
I’m really pleased the Government has backed the rebuild of Naenae Pool. We know the rebuild will create over 200 local jobs and will be a real economic shot in the arm for the community.
What’s more, it will also be a relief to ratepayers with the Government funding half of the project. It means we can get on with a rebuild, without local ratepayers shouldering all of the cost. These opportunities don’t come around very often.
You’ll rightly be asking what’s next for the project.
Today, we can take a moment to celebrate this positive news – but tomorrow we’ll get straight back to work to progress the rebuild of the pool.
We’re currently gearing up to engage with the community towards the end of this year on the detailed design of the new facility.
For me, I’ve been clear that this project, from start to finish needs to be done in genuine partnership with the community. And that’s exactly what will happen.
After the designs are complete, we’ll lodge resource consents, confirm the remaining budget as part of our next Long Term Plan, and then get underway with building work onsite in the middle of next year.
I understand this still may feel too long. But the reality is this Council under my leadership has been pushing ahead with the project, and the Government’s announcement today turbocharges that.
Mayor of Lower Hutt