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New Regional Aquatic Centre, A Game Changer For Hawke’s Bay

Architect’s representation of the Olympic size pool for the HB Regional Aquatic Centre

Hawke’s Bay will have a new aquatic centre by 2022 thanks to $32 million in funding from the Government’s shovel ready projects fund.

“It’s a game changer for the region,” says Sir Graeme Avery, chair of the Hawke’s Bay Community Fitness Centre Trust, which will be adding the aquatic centre to the community health and sports facility it owns and manages at Mitre 10 Park in Hastings.

The announcement was made by Minister for Small Business and Napier Member of Parliament, Stuart Nash at the Trust’s Open Day marking the first anniversary of its EIT Institute of Sport & Health today. (Sunday 26 July)

Resource consent is already in place for the Olympic size 50 metre pool and a learn-to-swim 25 metre pool, which made the project ideal for Infrastructure Reference Group’s (IRG) shovel ready funding. Planning the build will commence immediately.

“We’d already determined there was a well-defined community need for more water space in the region,” Sir Graeme says. “It was part of our original vision and it is wonderful that the government has supported us to make this happen.

“The Trust’s aim is the improve the health and wellbeing of Hawke’s Bay people and this new facility will help the region immensely. It’s going to provide something for all sectors of the community, and we think, will set Hawke’s Bay apart.”

The Hawke’s Bay Regional Aquatic Centre will be available for swim training, water polo (there is no deep-water pool in the region), school sports and competition events, along with water competency education and community health lap swimming and aquarobics classes.

It is also expected to be used by Hawke’s Bay District Health Board working with patients with mobility issues, and the morbidly obese.

It will add to the multi-sport indoor training facilities for netball, basketball, volleyball, badminton, futsal and pickleball at the EIT Institute of Sport & Health, as well as complementing the outdoor athletics, hockey, netball, canoe polo, rugby league and football facilities at Mitre 10 Park.

“Together, these multi-sports facilities will make Mitre 10 Park unrivalled in New Zealand as a world-class sports training, competition and major events venue,” says Sir Graeme.

Looking forward to when the aquatic centre opens in early/mid 2022, multi-day major regional, national and possibly international sports events could be held at the Park and across the region, bringing in a significant number of athletes and supporters, with the visitor spend materially helping the post-Covid economic recovery of the hospitality and retail sectors in Hawke’s Bay, he says.

The Hawke’s Bay community has already contributed $19m, reflecting the widespread support of the community for the project, Sir Graeme says.

Hastings District Council contributed $4m of the $19m, with the Lotteries Significant Grants fund granting a further $3m and the Provincial Growth Fund $5m.

© Scoop Media

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