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$40m for pool upgrade

These shovel-ready projects 'not only add to the great things to do in Gisborne, they will help place and keep people in jobs, and inject money into the area': Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

A $45 million boost to upgrade Gisborne's Olympic Pool Complex and Midway Surf Lifesaving Club premises will create jobs and improve facilities for both locals and visitors, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today.

“We know the economic recovery from the global Covid-19 pandemic is especially hard on our regions, which is why the Government is making record investments to protect and create jobs and to inject much-needed money into regional economies,” Ms Ardern said.

The council's pool complex will receive up to $40 million for refurbishment, while the Midway Surf Lifesaving Club will get up to $5 million for a purpose-built hub (see story page 3).

“These shovel-ready projects, funded by the infrastructure fund within the Covid Response and Recovery Fund, will not only add to the great things to do in Gisborne, they will help place and keep people in jobs, and inject money into the area,” Ms Ardern said.

“This investment reflects the Government's Covid economic recovery plan which is about investing in people, in jobs, preparing for our future, supporting our small businesses, entrepreneurs and job creators, while also positioning New Zealand globally.”

The pool upgrade will address maintenance issues, meet demand for extra facilities, including a dedicated learn-to-swim area, and improve the configuration (for example, access between changing rooms to pool).

Midway Surf Lifesaving Club will benefit from construction of a purpose-built hub that will offer sites for two new hospitality businesses, giving the club ongoing income and increasing the club's appeal.

All approvals are in principle and subject to contract negotiations. Investment values are also subject to change.

GDC had applied for $46m for the redevelopment of the Olympic Pool Complex.

That amount is $17.5m more than was originally planned for this project.

Councillors were due to see a full concept presentation in May after the project manager indicated late last year that estimated costs were “just shy” of $35m.

GDC previously said the increase in cost was down to a change in design processes.

Overall, the Government will provide $106m on infrastructure and community facilities in the region to boost its post-Covid recovery.

The first of these was announced earlier this month and will give $8m to Poverty Bay Rugby Football Union to redevelop Rugby Park.

Other GDC-promoted projects still in the running for funding — upgrading the Waipaoa River stopbanks ($25.7m) and residential wastewater and stormwater systems ($49m and $11.7m, respectively) — have made it on to a government short-list, with funding yet to be confirmed.

  1. Tuta Ngarimu says:

    When are we going to see the housing shortage here seriously addressed? $40mill would have solved our shortfall here overnight, in the meantime 250+ families sit in emergency accommodation. A rebuild of 400 homes (social and private) would alleviate our housing pressures in Tairawhiti . . . $40 mill on a pool, WTF?

    1. Kathie Rutherford says:

      Tuta Ngarimu, you raise a very good point. I totally agree with you.
      This seems a great deal of money to be ploughed into a project which will only benefit a few.
      We have other more pressing priorities like, as you mention, housing. Let us focus on improving our city for those who choose to live here. Rubbish disposal is also something which needs serious attention. This ridiculous system of stickers and constantly disappearing recycling bins is a joke.

  2. G R Webb says:

    Shovel ready – what’s the best guess as to when we will see the first on site work?