You are currently viewing <strong>Hauraki helps fund study of Thames pool site</strong>
Thames’ Centennial Pool needs to be removed by 2027. PHOTO: KELLEY TANTAU

Hauraki helps fund study of Thames pool site

Hauraki ratepayers will help Thames-Coromandel District Council find the best place for its new pool by sharing the costs of a feasibility study.
But Hauraki’s mayor says the idea of a sub-regional aquatic facility has been floated before, and came with positives and negatives for both districts.
Back in March, the Thames Community Board heard that, in replacing its Centennial Pool at Taipari Park, it should first ascertain whether a sub-regional facility with multiple funders was the better solution.
As part of those discussions, it was agreed that a consultancy agency would research suitable sites in the Hauraki district, and Hauraki councillors this month voted to approve unbudgeted expenditure of $6500 for the study costs.
The impact on rates for residents will be around 72 cents per property for one year.
“We did feel it was an appropriate method, looking at any facilities we have and whether they could be regional or not, because things are changing, the landscape is shifting, and we can’t all afford to have everything,” Hauraki Mayor Toby Adams told The Profile.
“Maybe some of these things could be shared and maybe this is one of them – but we don’t know.”
The Hauraki district has three community pools, one each located in Paeroa, Ngātea, and Waihī.
According to a report, the Paeroa and Ngātea pools were more than 50 years old and the council was planning upgrades.
Its Waihī pool, located on the Waihī College grounds, had “a number of safety repairs that needed to be addressed”, requiring a “significant investment” by council.
The average annual cost to maintain and operate the three Hauraki pools over the past three years was $800,000.
“A sub-regional pool comes with the benefits of being able to share the costs,” Mayor Adams said, “but then it does come with the negatives of: someone has to travel, if not everyone, and then you wonder how the usage keeps going up.
“It’s a double-edged sword; I don’t know if it’s the right thing or the wrong thing, and until you get the facts and figures and numbers in front of you, it’s pretty hard to make a robust decision.
“But we’ve got three pools… they get good usage in the three main towns and we wouldn’t want to see that usage drop off by having a facility that was not fit-for-purpose for our community members.”
The Thames Centennial Pool is located on an urupa (burial ground) and under the agreement
between Thames-Coromandel District Council and Ngāti Maru, it was decided that the facility would be relocated by 2027 and the land returned to Ngāti Maru.
According to the TCDC website, a short-list of possible site options will be released in October, with the council then asking the public for their views.