Waiheke Pool Comments

Residents Comments about a Waiheke Pool

We live on an Island and have to teach our kids to swim. My 5 year old has just learned to swim but now it’s heading to winter we have to travel all the way to Auckland (car, ferry, train) just to find a swimming pool. Also, I have to say if there were a pool on the island I would swim every day.

Swimming is an essential life skill when you live on an island and travel by ferry to get to the nearest city/town. For a small population, Waiheke Island supports a great many number of activities and sports and I have no doubt that a swimming pool would get just as much support amongst all sectors of the community.

My husband and I are the owners and managers of Swim Waiheke. We are a Learn to Swim School on Waiheke. We have a been teaching swimming at the school pool for short periods over the summer periods, however this has been restricted due to the pool temperature and weather conditions.

Just wanted to say that the response to Cara and Mana’s Learn to swim school has been amazing !!!! To have taught over 350 children swimming lessons in the unheated outdoor school pool and in their heated home pool over the last 6 months is a brilliant achievement.

Key Information

Waiheke Pool Project

A new Waiheke Community Pool Incorporated Society was formed on the 11th of April 2014 with a purpose of helping drive forward the plans for a new community swimming pool and increase awareness and opportunity for people in the community to learn to swim and be safe in the water.

To jump straight into the details, click here to read:

  • The Plan For An Indoor Aquatic Facility At Onetangi Sports Park
  • Reports and feasibility studies

Project Aim:

To build a new indoor community swimming pool on Waiheke Island by 2018.

To provide swimming lessons and water safety education to all sectors of the community.

The purpose of the society:

  • To lead the community efforts in establishing a new indoor community swimming pool on Waiheke Island
  • Facilitate discussions between key partners for the effective design, development and construction of the pool
  • Play a leading role in representing the community’s views in relation to the new pool
  • Develop a business plan in conjunction with other partners, where applicable, for the effective construction and operation of the new pool
  • Develop and promote community fundraising initiatives and apply for funding on behalf of the pool
  • To provide swimming lessons and water safety education to all sectors of the community regardless of age or ability to pay
  • Promote swimming as a year round activity on Waiheke Island for the benefit of all sectors of the community


  • We will have narrowed down the location issue to one (there are currently two in the running)
  • We will have gone through a consultation phase regarding the facility with the community and key stakeholders
  • We will have prepared a tender document for the final design and construction of the facility (concept drawing are already in place)
  • We will have in principal support from Waiheke Local Board and Auckland Council for partnership involvement in the project
  • We will have in principal support from two major benefactors
  • We will have identified at least 3 major sponsors
  • We will have fund raised at least $50,000

 Who’s on the Committee? – click here for details

Key Facts:

  • Te Huruhi Primary School pool only has a couple of years life left in it due to cracks in the pool.
  • Without a new pool build there will be no Waiheke pool on the island with access for the schools and the public.
  • Auckland Council released their draft list of pools they would be funding in 2014. Waiheke was included on the list at number 25. Waiheke’s place on the list and the ‘medium priority’ level it has been given means that Council would be unlikely to look at the requirement for a pool on Waiheke for at least 3 years, with the likelyhood of Council building a pool on Waiheke many more years away after that, if given the go ahead at all. More details below.

Key User Groups:

  • Te Huruhi Primary
  • Waiheke High
  • Waiheke Primary
  • Swimgym
  • Waiheke Community
  • Sports Clubs and Associations (Recovery sessions)
  • Therapy Organisations (therapy and rehabilitation)
  • Dive and some water sport associations (indoor training, education and adverse weather alternative)
  • Visitors to Waiheke (sports clubs, associations and independent visitors)

The Role of the Local Board

The Waiheke Local Board is in favour of and supporting the build of a community Waiheke pool in the next three years.

As part of the annual plan process the Local Board has suggested that some money could be reallocated from other projects for a community Waiheke pool project (in part or in full).

Local Board Actions to date

  • Feasibility study – The Local Board and School boards collectively have commissioned a financial viability study with respect to a Waiheke pool at the school. A part of this study is looking at other pools on school grounds around the country, how they operate and are managed. This will identify both the capital and operating expenses of a community pool. The funding for this study was granted from the Local Board SLIPS budget at the 30th January 2014 board meeting. Click here to read the full report.
  • Discussions with Schools
  • Discussion with Auckland Council Pool Advisors
  • Discussions with the Mayor
  • Report commissioned from APR (who also produced the feasibility report above) to provide details of what needs to be done to fix the Recreation Center, a community facility which is situated on Ministry of Education land, near the existing high school buildings, and to provide a business case for building a pool adjacent to the center.
  • Waiheke Community Pool Incorporated wrote to the Local Board in February 2015 requesting that more details be included in the commission and report so that a business case would look at the option of a one phase pool build, i.e. an indoor pool covered from the start as well as a two phased pool build, i.e. an outdoor pool which would be covered at a later stage. Click here and scroll to page 153 to see a copy of the letter)

Waiheke Pool Funding

There are a number of different options:

Option One: Council operated and built

This would provide the funding for community pool built and run by Auckland Council. The time frame and conditions for this option are::

Aquatic Facilities Network Plan –  October 2014
Auckland Council has released its Aquatic Facilities Network Plan which guides Council’s provision and investment into aquatic facilities across the Auckland Region.   The network plan determines the governing body’s priority for investment into an aquatic facility on Waiheke over the next ten years. Waiheke has been included in the draft list but has been given a Medium priority.


(click on the image to zoom in)

It has been included as a ‘potential area of need for new facilities to be investigated’.

(click on the image to zoom in)

It has been identified as an area of need where innovative approach and partnership funding could be part of the solution.

The reason is has only been given a medium priority on the list is due to the small population levels compared to areas that are included on the list as a High priority.

The link to the full draft plan is here

So what does this mean?

It is likely that it would be many years (possibly 8-10 years) before Auckland Council got around to assessing the need on Waiheke. This is not an acceptable time frame for us and so while it is encouraging that Waiheke has made it onto the list, recognising the work that many local people have put into raising this issue as an area of concern, we will continue to drive forward with plans to help ensure that a new facility is in place within the next 3 years.

Long-term Plan

When the plan is released the amount of capital proposed for a new pools will be available. This is expected to be a pooled amount. Based on the level of priority Waiheke has in the network plan, we will have a clear indication whether Waiheke will receive funding in the next ten years.

Option Two: Local Board Seed Funding, Community Fundraising, Sponsorship, Donations and Grants

  • Community Project fundraising  requires a solid plan and seed funding to be successful
  • Seed funding from the Local Board will help with initial planning, it is also easier to get grants when you secure initial funding
  • This approach would be led by the Waiheke Pool Committee and other key partners and user groups
  • Options of naming rights, corporate sponsorship, grants such as ASB Community Trust, Lotteries funding etc
  • The Auckland Council Central Facility Partnership Fund is another potential source of funding for a community partnership Waiheke pool project. The size of the fund was $1.5m for applications received in 2013. Access to this funding is competitive with many projects applying for funding. This would need to be undertaken in conjunction with other fundraising.

What Other Communities Have Achieved

Paengaroa SchoolPaengaroa pool a Waiheke Pool Example

At Paengaroa School a solar heated outdoor 25m x 10m pool was built for $850,000, the cost was covered largely through community grants and fundraising including a $330,000 lottery grant. The pool is designed to be covered with further fundraising which is budgeted to bring the total project between $1.5 million and $1.8 millon.


Ashurst Community Pool

Ashurst Community Pool – a 25m indoor pool was built for under $1 million.


Ashurst Community Pool a Waiheke Pool example

Fulton Swim School



Basic facility built for simple swimming activities.






Little Dipperslittle dippers

Private facility in small Northland community. Community is a similar size to Waiheke with the similar issues around remoteness and access to public facilities.



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