Wanaka Pool Consultation

The Council is considering options for providing the Wanaka community with a pool. We are formally consulting the ratepayers and residents of the Wanaka ward to see whether there is support from the community to proceed or not. The Council’s preferred option is to build an eight lane lap pool and a learners pool costing an estimated $11.8 million at Three Parks as part of Stage One of the Wanaka Sports Facility. The Statement of Proposal and the summary set out the indicative costs and estimated rates impact of each option. We want to be very clear on the advantages and disadvantages of all the practical options and understand from the community if it agrees or disagrees.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are the costs you’re working on fixed or estimates?

A: They are all estimates, based on concept designs.

Q: What does the Apollo option thats referred to mean?

A: Apollo is a company that designs and builds ”affordable” sports facilities, including swimming pools. They have approached the Council to offer their services to build a new pool. We have to get the community’s views on price, location, size and timing first, so it’s too soon to be looking at options for construction. There’s more detail about this on the last page of the summary.

Q: As a Wanaka rates payer I'd be interested to hear why were not getting an "affordable" pool?

A: We want to make the best value decision for Wanaka, which includes considering not just the upfront cost but the ongoing cost over time.  A cheaper pool upfront may not be the best decision in the long run.  Options on who will build it and how will be considered later in the process.  First we need to find out whether the community prefers the status quo or wants and is willing to pay for new swimming facilities and if so, where they should be.   


Q: Does the site influence the look? The Three Parks images look pretty high end - does it have to look that fancy and flash if it was at Plantation Rd at the school? Should we not select based on some cost options first as that may help decide on location rather than the other way around?

A: The site will influence the design. The design standards that are required at Northlake are different than those at the other two locations. At Three Parks, the design would need to be in keeping with the sports facility. A new pool at Plantation Rd would be configured for that site.

The reason the Council is asking for views about location, size and timing as well as cost is because the community will influence all of those decisions and we don't to consult four times - that would cause lengthy delays and cost thousands of dollars.


Q: Northlake have an advertisement in the Wanaka Sun which misleads the public that there is no costs to ratepayers for their proposal. What is the council doing to present their option in a balanced way & counter this?

A:  The conditions of its resource consent require Northlake Investments Ltd to build a 20-25m lap pool, along with certain other recreational requirements, that is publicly available. To that extent, Northlake would provide a pool at no cost to ratepayers.

To date, Council has not identified an option at Northlake which meets the proposed minimum requirements (a 6 lane, 25m lap pool and learners pool) for the Wanaka community and is free.  Currently, a pool at Northlake would either require additional public money to meet minimum standards, or it would be in addition to a pool elsewhere.

Therefore, when Northlake says in its advertisement: “Why would you want to spend $19.7m on a pool when Northlake are providing one for free” it is referring only to the small lap pool that it must provide to meet the conditions of its resource consent.

If the community’s submissions to the Council clearly prefer this option, the Council will consider that seriously in December.


Q: The upgrade existing is presented as if it is complete option, but it is really only delaying the inevitable requirement to build a new pool. Can the council present the same 50 year view of rates impact for this option to be consistent?

A: We haven’t undertaken this analysis because it’s not an option to extend the life of the existing pool for 50 years. 


Q: Will Queenstown & Dunedin be chipping in, as Wanaka did for Dunedin Stadium & potentially for the Conference Centre?

A: Wanaka’s pool is not a regional facility so the rates portion of the cost would be paid from a new targeted rate applying to the Wanaka ward only. This is the same approach as the Council took when constructing Alpine Aqualand in Frankton, which was charged only to the Wakatipu and Arrowtown ward rates. 


Q: I understand there has already been some estimates of prices to build the pool obtained from Apollo and others. My question is what sort of price difference is there and who is the more affordable?

A: When the estimates were developed for the consultation now underway, the Council considered a couple of pool types, including Apollo, and based the estimated costs on concept drawings. The pool itself is only part of the cost – there are also earthworks and infrastructure, carparks and landscaping. Once the location, scope and timing has been confirmed at the end of the consultation period, the costs and construction options will be developed in more detail. If the Council decides to go ahead with a new pool and learners pool, the project will be undertaken through a competitive tender process. 


Q: Of the 55,000 visits last year how many were by children?

A: 17,600 were children.


Q: Has the QLDC done a cost/benefit analysis of the cost to transport children from the current school precinct (around Plantation, Kings and Aubrey Road) to either of the new locations (Three Parks or Northlake)? The fuel/transport cost the additional road use and the additional time are a cost to the pool users and not directly to QLDC but they are costs and barriers to families and other users. It will be up to 20 years before this cost become arguably neutral when these two new locations are on the doorstep of a sizable local population.

A: No, that analysis hasn’t been done.


Q: If Northlake already have to build a lap and learners pool why don't the Council just pay the difference to extend the pool by 4 lanes or whatever. That must be the lowest Cost option available - and then there would be no smoke and mirrors lease cost that somehow becomes greater than the cost of building it. Plus the development costs and infrastructure/landscaping are essentially committed developers costs not ratepayers.

A: Your suggestion is covered in options 2 and 2A. These are for a Council-built pool at Northlake with either six or eight lanes, and the costs take into account the contribution that Northlake Investments Ltd would make, to save the company having to build its own pool.


Q: Where does the $19.7m figure come from in the Northlake ad.? That is an outrageous figure for this community to support

A: You would have to ask Northlake Investment Ltd how they calculated that figure – it does not reflect any of QLDC’s costings. The capital cost of the proposed eight lane pool at Three Parks is estimated at $11.8m, which would require the Council to borrow $9.03m. Those figures are all on p8 of the summary – option 1A.


Q: Spending $10-12 million on a pool for a town with a permanent population of 5-6,000 is a huge financial burden on a small population. Could the Council explore the potential of a public-private project - therefore reducing Council cost and rate increase? Westport (similar size to Wanaka) have a number of sponsors for their pool/sports complex. Why couldn't Wanaka take a similar approach and see if significant businesses/companies want to provide some $/ be a sponsor o the project?

A: As shown in page 8 of the summary, the amount we estimate ratepayers would pay is less than the total cost because we will be seeking contributions from third parties (eg charitable trusts) and using proceeds from previous land sales. QLDC will also explore the opportunity for selling naming rights to further reduce the amount needed from ratepayers.


Q: Wanaka is a 'tourist' town and I would think a good number of patrons to any new pool being built will be non-ratepayers. Does the Council envisage there being a two-tier payment (one for ratepayers and one for visitors/tourists)? If not, then essentially Wanaka ratepayers are subsidising others to use the pool. And it's a significant subsidy each year.

A: Providing upgraded swimming facilities is a decision for ratepayers.  Residents can reduce the cost of swimming by buying a concession card.


Q: How much is the developer contributing to earthworks, landscaping et at 3 parks. Why does the ratepayer have to pay for all this if the developer is benefitting hugely by having these assets on their site.

A: The land vested for new facilities in Three Parks is over and above the amount actually required.  The Council is also getting the benefit of a reduced rate for earthworks at Three Parks, given the adjoining development.  These savings are being passed on the Wanaka Sports Facility project and will also apply if the new pools go ahead at that site.


Q: What is the difference in financial cost to upspec the pool that Northlake must provide and the minimum requirements of the community pool? At least as far as planetary resources go, having one pool at Northlake and another at Three Parks more wasteful and less efficient?

A: The estimated cost of building at Northlake ($11.17m for a 6-lane pool) reflects the developer contributing what they would otherwise expect to spend on the pool their resource consent requires them to provide. This does not result in a reduced overall cost to ratepayers because over time, the additional operating subsidy a Northlake pool would require, together with the capital repayments, is greater than building at Three Parks and realising the benefits of co-location with the Sports Facility.

Q: Would it be possible to remove the requirement for the Northlake developers to provide a pool at Northlake and instead instruct them to contribute towards the cost of providing a pool at 3 Parks?

A: A rule in the Northlake zone rules requires a pool to be constructed and to get a dispensation from this rule, a resource consent application to Council is required. It is not unusual for a requirement pegged to a larger staged development to be altered or the timing delayed by way of a resource consent. However, QLDC does not have the regulatory authority to require Northlake to apply their funds elsewhere; this would need to be by way of agreement.