Delayed to May: Wanaka's $12.2 million pool gets new completion date

Councillor Calum MacLeod and Wanaka Community Board chairwoman Rachel Brown inspected the concrete pour in March.
Sam White

Councillor Calum MacLeod and Wanaka Community Board chairwoman Rachel Brown inspected the concrete pour in March.

Wanaka's $12.28 million swimming pool faces another construction delay, with completion not now expected until late May 2018.

The delay has been caused by "lots of little things" in the construction process, with no specific issue to blame, Queenstown Lakes District Council sport and recreation manager Simon Battrick said.

Cook Brothers Construction business development manager Simon Glass said it was disappointing to be running slightly behind the scheduled March 31 handover to the council.

The 25m pool was taking shape in July.
Marjorie Cook

The 25m pool was taking shape in July.

Glass confirmed the pool was approximately 50 per cent complete.

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Foundations and stainless steel pool walls were in place and an exciting milestone would be reached when building frames go up in the coming weeks, Glass said.

Queenstown Lakes sport and recreation manager Simon Battrick.

Queenstown Lakes sport and recreation manager Simon Battrick.

The pool was first scheduled for completion at the end of October 2017, but then pushed out to the end of March 2018 so the council could complete unexpected delays in negotiating the final details and pricing with the building contractor.

Battrick said swimming pools were complex projects and most encountered unforeseen delays.

The construction team was making good progress and looking hard to see what time it could pull back, he said.

"Any swimming pool has complexities that you can't see at the front end. It is at a critical stage of construction. I don't think it is any one specific thing . . . It is pretty hard to pick just one thing out, to be honest," he said. 

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Battrick said the pool remained on budget. The construction contract did include penalties for not meeting the schedule but "we are not at that stage", he said.

"Everyone wants the project delivered on time and on budget," he said.

The new 25m, eight lane pool is being built next to the Wanaka Recreation Centre and would have a chlorine treatment system.

The existing pool on Plantation Road would continue to operate in the meantime. This has been confirmed following a re-evaluation of seismic strengthening in 2015.

Battrick said the council had been "very clear" the old pool would close once the new one opened


There is a new Wanaka pool rate. Stuff put some questions to the council's chief financial officer Stewart Burns.

On average, how much is the Wanaka pool rate? 

For the 17/18 year it's $140 per residential property.

Is it a contribution to capital or operating costs? 

It covers both.

Is it just for the new pool, or is it also keeping the old pool going? 

This rate will fund the new pool but also the old pool for the extended period that it operates beyond March 2018.

Is the pool rate in addition to rates for the Wanaka Recreational Centre? 

The WRC is funded district-wide within the Sports Halls and Libraries Charge ($327 per property). This rate actually decreased for 17/18 by $32 per property

Is the council saving the money until the pool is ready to operate? 

If there is a surplus in this rate after funding operational costs and debt servicing costs, any remaining balance will be applied to additional loan repayments on the new pool.

Is there any other information you could provide to clarify the special Wanaka pool and recreation centre rates? 

The Wanaka pool rate applies to the Wanaka ward only, just as the rate for Alpine Aqualand applies to only the Wakatipu/Arrowtown wards. The full year rate for the Wanaka rate was originally estimated at $184 but this will need to be recalculated as part of the long term plan process, once we have the updated operating costs, revenue projections and final capital cost.

 - Stuff


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