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Waiuku residents push new pool plan

New locations a challenge as city grows

Published: 1 May 2019

The Women of Waiuku group has urged Franklin Local Board to ask Auckland Council to vest sports land in Waiuku in a public trust.

That would allow funds to be borrowed against the land to fund a pool for the town, Sue Markrow and Leanna Birch told the board.

Board members have met with the group, which wants Auckland Council to build a new pool to benefit the town.

Board deputy chair Andy Baker and Waiuku representatives Sharlene Druyven and Brendon Crompton say the town is lucky to have groups determined to push for projects and stand up for the community.

"The massive growth Auckland is experiencing is no secret, and it is putting pressure on many areas, including the provision of community facilities like pools," Mr Baker says.

"We are seeing huge growth. It’s like adding Gisborne at Flat Bush, and Hastings to Drury, and council has to make provision for that."

Waiuku is tipped to grow by more than 7500 people in the next 30 years.

"You can understand the challenge of deciding where to put new facilities to best serve a growing population," Mr Crompton says.

"You could strike a targeted rate to fund it, but it would be something like $2500 a household on top of what you pay now, for the next 30 years, and I can’t see that being acceptable."

Ms Druyven says Women of Waiuku are to be applauded for going to bat for their town. "They have genuine concerns about the facilities available, but we all have to take a financially prudent view on community facilities.

"In the past Waiuku has been great at doing things itself, but something in the order of $40 million is pushing it."

Council-funded facilities

Auckland Council has previously funded improvements to recreational facilities.

"Working with the rugby club and Waiuku College, money was spent on upgrading the sports fields, lights, changing rooms and netball and gym facilities," Mr Crompton says.

The council's head of active recreation Rob McGee says there are no plans to close the town’s Whiteside Pool, and there is no budget for a new facility in the Franklin Local Board area.

"Our Community Facility Network Action Plan looks at development and upgrades of existing facilities. The plan has identified the wider Pukekohe region as an area with a possible need for additional community facilities in the future."

The Community Facility Network Action Plan is available here.

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