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Council defends pool closure

DEENA COSTER
Last updated 05:00 20/12/2013
Leisa Saxton stand
DEENA COSTER
Not happy: Normanby's Leisa Saxton thinks the South Taranaki District Council made the wrong call to close the indoor pool facilities at Hawera's Powerco Aquatic Centre during the school holidays

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A parent has described as "ludicrous" the shutting of Hawera's indoor pool complex over the school summer holiday.

This week, the South Taranaki District Council closed the Powerco Aquatic Centre's indoor complex for up to six weeks for repainting and maintenance.

The facilities include a 25m pool, learners' and toddlers' pools, spa and hydroslide.

The outdoor pool will remain open.

Normanby resident Leisa Saxton said she was not happy with the timing of the closure.

"A lot of people don't know it's happened and I think it's bloody ludicrous," the mother of three said.

She said she had initially planned to write a letter to the council suggesting the opening hours be extended over the summer months, but then she found out about the shutdown.

"I just simply cannot fathom why this can't be done during cooler months when attendance is minimal and more importantly, not the school holidays," Ms Saxton said.

Although no definite reopening date has been set, time was needed for the new paint to cure fully and for the pools to heat up.

There was mixed reaction on the council's Facebook page about the move. While one respondent said it was "madness", others said people still had the use of the outdoor pool and swimming lessons would not be disrupted.

South Taranaki District Council community services manager Fiona Greenhill said the decision to close the pool was based on the time of year which caused the least inconvenience.

"We've timed it to take advantage of the fact that the outdoor pool is open so users can still swim and, despite it being school holidays, the reality is this time of year is the quietest for the indoor pools," she said.

Mrs Greenhill said if everything went to schedule the indoor facilities would reopen by the middle of next month.

The maintenance of the Hawera indoor pool complex is done every five years and has a budget of $30,000.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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