Work underway on $22.5m aquatic centre

SIMON PLUMB
Last updated 09:42 14/02/2013

Relevant offers

Other Sports

New England Patriots say they followed rules, accept no blame World Cup of Hockey set for return - Toronto 2016 Dongfeng Race Team closing in on China Volvo Ocean Race first Britain's Sir Ben Ainslie tips Bermuda's America's Cup course to be challenging NFL: Patriots used under-inflated balls in Super Bowl build-up Cadel Evans pedals towards retirement Simon Van Velthooven ready for return to racing with New Zealand sprint squad Greg LeMond says doper Lance Armstrong deserves his life ban Top-rated Port Taranaki Pro confirmed for March New England Patriots' ball scandal could take shine off the Super Bowl

Work has officially begun on establishing a $22.5m national aquatics centre on Auckland's North Shore.

Capable of hosting major events, including the world championships and Commonwealth Games, Minister of Sport Murray McCully led a ceremonial sod-turning at Mairangi Bay's Millennium Institute yesterday evening.

Scheduled for completion in July 2014, the majority of the multi-million dollar project has been footed by Auckland ratepayers with $13m put forward through the former North Shore City Council and the subsequent Auckland Council 'Super City'.

Philanthropist Sir Owen Glenn, whom the facility will be named after, has kicked in $2.5m.

The remaining $7m has been found through a combination of the New Zealand government, Lion Foundation and the Millennium Institute and AUT Trust.

The 4000-seater facility will feature an Olympic-sized 50m pool and also a 25m warm-up pool, catering for a variety of aquatic codes including water polo and surf life-saving. 

Full excavation begins in two weeks but last night McCully, Auckland Mayor Len Brown, Millennium Institute CEO Mike Stanley and Glenn donned hard hats to break the ground of the site by spade.

McCully said that while swimming has not been a decorated Olympic code for New Zealand, failing to win an Olympic medal since Danyon Loader's double gold from the Atlanta Games in 1996, the amount of medals on offer in the pool at a major Games means swimming must remain a priority for investment.

"This new aquatics centre is part of a strategy to make sure New Zealand is, on a very regular basis, the best in the world, on a per-capita basis, in Olympic performances," Mully said.

"It's a pretty ambitious goal, but one that we think is achievable.

"There's no doubt in my mind that unless we step up in facilities and the services we place in them we're not going to be in the top three regularly.

"Some might be asking 'why does swimming get a place in the strategy when it hasn't been an outstanding success story?' 

"The answer to that is quite simple. There are 102 medals awarded at the Olympic Games in swimming alone. If we want to be world leaders at the Olympic Games then we have to perform in swimming."

The venue will sit alongside the existing 50m pool at the Millennium Institute and other facilities at the institute created through $60m in government and philanthropic funding.

Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Special offers
Opinion poll

Will Shane Cameron beat Kali Meehan on Saturday?

For sure. Cameron will knock him out.

It will be close but I think Cameron on points.

Meehan will knock him out. This is his last fight.

I'm tipping Meehan to win on points.

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content