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Community meeting sees way forward on New Brighton project

Community meeting sees way forward on New Brighton legacy project

The proposed New Brighton legacy project of hot salt water pools is back on track after a meeting on Saturday between Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel, local councilors, community board members, community representatives, council staff and business groups.

The community representatives were those included on the Community Advisory Groups for the Legacy Project and New Brighton Master Plan.

The meeting was held on Saturday at the South New Brighton Community Hall and aimed to arrive at a common understanding of the scope, guiding principles and desired results for the New Brighton legacy project.

The meeting's facilitator was Rev Peter Beck who is also convenor of Eastern Vision.

"At the Mayor's invitation we all met to get on to the same page so the common goal of building and operating the pools could be achieved," said Peter Beck.

"We stood back and looked at what's been working well, what hasn't worked so well and what we could do better."

The meeting agreed the process used to engage with the community and gain feedback around the project had not worked as well as it should.

"As a community, we now need to discuss and review the relationship between the New Brighton Master Plan and the legacy project and ensure the two projects are connected with each other," said Peter Beck. .

"We also arrived at a good consensus around the project's fundamental objectives and what the community thinks should be its key features," he said.

Mayor Lianne Dalziel reiterated the council's "absolute commitment" to seeing the project completed.

"We can say that as a result of this meeting the project is back on track and we've had a discussion on the ways it can be made sustainable, both technically and financially," she said.

"We haven't allocated money to the budget yet and when we do approve a budget for the project we won't be paying for all of it. There are options for philanthropic support and private investment that are being explored through the Expressions of Interest currently being asked for," said the Mayor.

Paul Zaanen, the Manager of the New Brighton Business and Landowners' Association said his association now felt a lot more confident with the relationships between the Council, the community and private industry.

"I'm sure we'll find a way forward for our suburb as a whole," he said.

Jane Harrison, the Co-Chair of the South Brighton Residents' Association said the two and a half hour meeting was a valuable experience in terms of community participation and said would like more of these sessions.

The main principles agreed on for the project were:

* Provide a unique experience with 'wow factor' that establishes New Brighton as a destination
* Integrate fluidly and seamlessly with business district, foreshore and beach, and complement local and eastern recreational assets
* Affordable and accessible to all, meeting a variety of social needs and enhancing local community wellbeing
* Support local economic recovery
* All-season indoor/outdoor experience that protects from wind and sand
* Funding and management could be mixed PPP

The agreed key features were

* Water play space for toddlers and young kids with water
jets and buckets
* Disability Access
* Café, parents area & beach retail
* Family hot salt water spa pools including adults-only spa (eg Napier)
* Leisure hot salt water pool (eg St Clair)
* Iconic Whale Pool retained with free access

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