Wednesday 1 June, 2022
As the huge steel beams for Kiwa Pools go up tomorrow the community will be excited to see the true scale of this significant asset for Tairāwhiti.
It’s not just a big building, the facilities and programmes it brings to Gisborne will be big too.
With the opening in March 2023 it will make a measurable difference to community well-being by offering numerous activities even over the winter months.
This will be a destination facility for everyone, says Mayor Rehette Stoltz.
“There will be a large screen for movie nights where you can watch from the pool on a lilo, plus a private room and a café area that can be booked for birthday parties, meetings or evening functions."
New sports like water polo and canoe polo are likely to be available for our rangatahi. This is all possible thanks to a moveable floor in part of the 50m indoor pool. The floor can be raised to full height, turning it into a dry stage for activities like children’s kapa haka performances, or lowered halfway to create a shallow pool for young kids or our elders. There will also be a learn-to-swim/hydrotherapy pool, indoor leisure and toddlers’ pool with water jets, water guns and seating for 500 people.
The facility will be "wildly flexible", says Mayor Stoltz.
From July expressions of interest for the café operator and recruitment of extra staff will be advertised.
"Steel frames will go up over the coming weeks as the new building begins to take shape and we’ll be able to see just how big Kiwa Pools will be. Acoustics are high-end to ensure this is a quiet, calm, easy place to be.”
Mayor Stoltz says the collaboration with Ngāi Tāwhiri has been instrumental in creating a whānau focus throughout the complex, with inclusivity at the heart of the development.
Every pool has ramp access and doors to changing rooms are wider than required for wheelchair users.
Sir Derek Lardelli, on behalf of Ngāi Tāwhiri, co-designed the complex which sits beside where the waka Horouta first landed in Tairāwhiti led by navigator Kiwa -- who the complex is named after. The name Kiwa Pools was gifted by partners Ngāi Tāwhiri hapū.
From the air the building looks like a bird or a waka sail, and the cultural narrative extends throughout.
The existing outside BBQ area, 33m pool, outdoor toddler pool, playground, 98m hydro-slide and diving pool will remain as part of the new facility.
While it's an expensive facility coming in at around $46m, Council will keep admission prices affordable and may introduce new family group discounts.
"This is a place for us all to enjoy and it will be affordable,” says Mayor Stoltz.
The project is funded 87 per cent by Government through its Crown Infrastructure Partners (CIP) Covid-19 Response fund. Council has committed to the balance.
The project is on track to be completed by late March 2023 thanks to Apollo Projects who have led the design and build of Kiwa Pools. Apollo has introduced creative project management to manage delays in materials, staff issues due to Covid-19 and weather events.
Once Kiwa Pools opens, demolition will start on the old Olympic Pool Complex.
Head to our website for more information about the Kiwa Pools journey.