Child friendly swimming disparity
Child-Friendly Swimming Retained in Glenfield and Birkenhead, but not in Takapuna
John Gillon, Elected Member of the Kaipatiki Local Board
05th June 2014
• Kaipatiki Local Board retains low leisure centre fees for supervising adults and spectators, supporting Council’s free-swimming policy for children.
• Devonport-Takapuna Local Board hikes charges for supervising adults and spectators, undermining Council’s free-swimming policy for children.
• Kaipatiki Local Board rejects lowering swimming charges for senior citizens.
Kaipatiki Local Board member John Gillon is pleased that the Kaipatiki Local Board followed through with his suggestion to retain a $1.00 charge for supervising adults and retain no charge for spectators at Glenfield Pool and Leisure Centre and Birkenhead Pool and Leisure Centre, but is disappointed that Takapuna Pool and Leisure Centre will see both charges hiked.
A report to the Kaipatiki Local Board had recommended increasing the supervising fee from $1.00 to $4.30 per adult and increasing the spectator fee from no charge to $1.00. The charges would have applied to parents/ guardians of all young children. This would have undermined Council’s free-swimming policy for children because the Leisure Centres operate a policy of all children aged up to 4 years being supervised by an adult in the pool within arm’s reach, and all children aged 5-10 years being supervised by an adult within close proximity.
“I have no doubt that the proposed increase in fees was an attempt to recoup lost revenue from the Council’s free swimming for kids policy,“ said John Gillon, “It would have shifted the charge from the child to the parent/guardian, with the effect being that the child was not swimming for free as per Council policy.”
Devonport-Takapuna Local Board Rejects Free Swimming for Kids
While the Kaipatiki Local Board has seen through the ploy, the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board rejected the motion from Grant Gillon and Jan O’Connor to follow suit and will instead be implementing the hiked charges. This means that it will now cost more to take children swimming at Takapuna Pool and Leisure Centre than at Glenfield and Birkenhead Pool and Leisure Centres.
The new charges of $4.30 per supervising adult and $1.00 for spectators will take effect from 1 July 2014.
Seniors Swimming Charges
Meanwhile, John Gillon’s motion to lower Leisure Centre fees for senior citizens from $5.40 to $5.00 at Glenfield Pool and Leisure Centre, and from $4.30 to $4.00 at Birkenhead Pool and Leisure Centre was defeated by the Kaipatiki Local Board.
“It is really important for our senior citizens to remain active, and with many of them on fixed incomes, I would like to see the swimming charges for our senior citizens lowered over time,” said John Gillon. “I am disappointed that my motion to begin that reduction from July was defeated, but I will try again next year.”