Lower Hutt Mayor Campbell Barry joined Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in Naenae today, where the Government announced a $27 million investment towards the rebuild of Naenae Pool.
“This is massive news for Lower Hutt and the Naenae community in particular. Local people, businesses, and community groups have told me time and again the closure of the pool has had a huge impact on them and their livelihoods,” Campbell Barry said.
“Naenae Pool is an important community facility. Some have described it as Naenae’s beating heart, and with the Government’s support we are going to be able to restore it. Most importantly, the rebuild will be done in genuine partnership with the community to ensure we can meet the aspirations they have for the future of their place.
Campbell Barry says the funding from Government follows Hutt City Council’s submissions to the Infrastructure Reference Group, who were tasked with evaluating “shovel ready” infrastructure projects.
“The rebuild of Naenae Pool will unlock massive local economic benefits, which will be a vital part of our economic recovery following COVID-19. Through the rebuild, we have an opportunity to create and support more than 200 local jobs, and we will ensure as much of the project spend stays within Lower Hutt.”
“At the end of this, the community and region will have a first-rate aquatic facility, which we can all be proud of,” Campbell Barry said.
Local Ward Councillor Andy Mitchell says that today’s news will be received well by local retailers, other business owners and the community.
“This announcement will help to build confidence in the local economy and our recovery. A new pool will play a key role in revitalising the Naenae town centre, which is a priority for our community.”
Hutt City Council Chief Executive says the rebuild of Naenae Pool is a priority for Council, and the funding from Government will turbocharge the project.
“Funding from the Government allows us to get on with things knowing there will be a much-reduced cost to our ratepayers. We will bring together other work that’s being done to ensure we can make a lasting and positive difference to the community. This includes developing a spatial plan for the Naenae town centre which will inform any work to revitalise the area,” Jo Miller said.
Work on progressing the design phase of Naenae Pool has started with Council at the procurement stage for the design team and architects and engineering consultants. Building works are expected to get underway mid-2021, and be completed by December 2024.
Naenae Pool at a glance
Naenae Pool received 450,000 visits every year. It was a valued asset for Lower Hutt, and also the wider region as part of a network of facilities for aquatic sports. When it closed in April 2019 due to earthquake safety concerns there was a significant impact for Naenae residents, pool users from around the region (who made up two thirds of users) and local businesses who benefited from the foot traffic the pool generated.
A three month community engagement project last year found significant support for the pool to be replaced (see the Voice of the Community Report). There was also backing for work to get underway on a spatial plan to guide future development of a lively and functional town centre, which would enable Naenae to contribute to a stronger Lower Hutt economy.
Prior to Covid-19 Council was planning to consult on:
- Replacing the Naenae swimming pool as soon as is feasibly possible given the planning, designing and economics of the project; and
- Developing a spatial plan for the Naenae town centre to ensure that investment in the new pool and future facilities maximises the benefits to both the Naenae community and the wider city
Consultation on major capital projects was put on hold as Council focused on getting through COVID-19, setting an emergency one-year budget and decreasing the proposed rates rise for 2020/21 by more than half.
$1.5M has been allocated in the 2020/21 Annual Plan for preparatory work on Naenae. This work is underway and covers specialist swimming pool design and engineering work, consenting and procurement.
$9M is currently budgeted in the 2018-2028 Long Term Plan (LTP) to refurbish the pool. Consultation on rebuilding Naenae Pool will be included in the next LTP.
Based on 2019 pricing rebuilding a pool in Naenae is estimated to cost $54M.
You can read more detail about the proposed Naenae pool and fitness centre redevelopment at this link haveyoursay.huttcity.govt.nz/naenae