Hutt at Heart
Naenae Hillary Court clock tower

Have your say on Naenae Pool and town centre at the Community Open Day

Lower Hutt residents have another chance to make sure their voice is heard on the future of the Naenae pool and the wider town centre at a Community Open Day on Saturday 21 September.

  • 11am – 2pm
  • Naenae Village Market, Hillary Court, Naenae

Everyone is welcome to come along to learn more about Naenae and talk to our engagement team. We’ll also have fun activities for tamariki.

The Open Day is part of the Voice of the Community project which kicked off in late August and Hutt City Council Chief Executive Jo Miller says she’s been pleased with the early response.

“In this early stage, our engagement team have been connecting with different groups and individuals around the community and talking to them about what life is like in Naenae, and what they want for their community.

“We’re hearing a lot of great stories and you can tell that people are passionate about the place they live. We’re also hearing loud and clear that people want the pool back as quickly as possible, and that’s why Council has already made that our priority.”

Naenae Pool was closed in April because of earthquake safety concerns. The Voice of the Community project aims to connect with a variety of people who are impacted by the closure in different ways, so their views can be factored into options for a solution.

“The Pool played a big part in the lives of many families in Naenae, not just as a place to swim, but a gathering place. It also provided foot traffic for the businesses in Hillary Court, which made the town centre a more vibrant place. In many ways it was the heart of the community. So we need to make sure whatever we do next meets that need.

“We’re also having a workshop with the many pool users who came from around the region to make sure we can meet as many of their needs as possible. And we’ll be engaging with the wider Lower Hutt community to get their views on how this facility fits into our Long Term Plan, and later options on how we pay for that. The solution we arrive at in the end will need to balance all of these requirements.”

Work was underway on a new community hub in Naenae when the pool closed and that project has been paused. The local community hall is also closed because of seismic issues. Over this time Naenae Library has extended its opening hours and is hosting additional events and Naenae Clubhouse is continuing to run its programmes for rangatahi.

“We’ve engaged with the community on other projects in the past and we’ve heard what’s important to them. We know the library and clubhouse are highly valued and we had planned to invest in other new facilities when this all happened.  Now we’re taking the opportunity to build on what we’ve heard with a wider conversation about the long term vision. And it’s not just about us.  We want the voice of the community to be heard by everyone who is working with, or in, Naenae. ”

Can’t make the Community Open Day? Here are other ways to have your say:

We want to hear from people across Lower Hutt, those in the Naenae community, and those who used the pool regularly.

You can have your say in lots of different ways.

  • Come to one of our engagement events in September and October
  • Talk to our team who’re out and out in Naenae this month, or at our facilities
  • Join the conversation online at haveyoursay.huttcity.govt.nz/naenae
  • Leave your thoughts at our Naenae Library display

What else is happening in Naenae?

  • From October, Naenae Primary School pool will be opening to the public on weekends and in the school holidays to provide a place for local tamariki to swim. Council has funded a pool upgrade and will staff the pool with lifeguards.
  • The Naenae Community Art project is progressing well and panels are expected to start being installed on the Naenae Pool fence over the next few months.
  • We’ve partnered with Team Naenae Trust to fund a co-ordinator for the Naenae Village Market, which is going from strength to strength.
  • Many extra sport, active play and exercise activities are being delivered in Naenae while the pool is closed. These include Pukutākaro – a free programme providing a safe place for tamariki sport and active play – older adults gentle exercise, boot camp, kids yoga and additional badminton programmes.
  • In partnership with the Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce, we’re funding workshops for local retailers impacted by the pool closure. We’ve also launched the Naenae Proud – Shop Local campaign, which now has a Facebook following of more than 500.
  • Thanks to funding from the Eastern Community panel, repairs to the Hillary Court clock are underway, and we’ll be buildinbg a new skate ramp in Naenae. We’re currently engaging with young people on a preferred location.
  • Work will begin on the Seddon Street playground in the next few weeks to intall pathways, a barbeque, a large picnic table and other seating and new play equipment.
  • Renovations to the Naenae Park changing rooms will be completed towards the end of this month.

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Subscribe to Hutt at Heart – Te Manawa, your monthly email newsletter where you can find out about fantastic things going on across our city and at Hutt City Council.