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Double Honours For Kiwa Pools


Kiwa Pools, the remarkable aquatic complex nestled in the heart of our community, has garnered well-deserved recognition at the 2024 New Zealand Commercial Project Awards.

The awards ceremony, held in Wellington on Friday night, celebrated excellence in commercial construction, innovation, and workmanship.

Kiwa Pools clinched not one but two prestigious accolades.

The first, a Gold Award, underscores the project’s exceptional quality and execution.

The second, a judge’s discretionary Special Award, highlights the outstanding collaboration among all partners involved in bringing this visionary project to life.

Gisborne District Council Chief Executive Nedine Thatcher Swann expressed her delight at the acknowledgments and thanked Apollo Projects, whose team led the work on this award-winning build.

“The uniqueness of Kiwa Pools has been recognised at a national level. We always knew how special this build was and the incredible people behind it, but these awards truly are the cherry on top.”

It’s been less than a year since Kiwa Pools officially opened on Saturday, 2 September, 2023.

Kiwa Pools, designed as a culturally significant building, houses a 50-metre multi-use indoor pool.

Despite facing challenges such as Covid lockdowns and multiple severe weather emergencies, the project was completed on budget, only a few months behind schedule.

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Ms Thatcher Swann emphasised Kiwa Pools is the most inclusive place in our community—a testament to its purpose as an intergenerational complex where learning, fun, training, and exercise converge.

The complex’s design reflects the rich cultural heritage of Tairāwhiti.
Co-designed by Ngāi Tāwhiri hapū, Gisborne District Council, and Apollo Projects, Kiwa Pools seamlessly weaves cultural narratives throughout its architecture.

Tā (Sir) Derek Lardelli of Lardelli Arts collaborated with Architecture HDT and Apollo Projects to ensure the essence of Tairāwhiti history is in every corner of the facility.

At the awards ceremony, Tā Derek Lardelli thanked Apollo Projects for bringing change – especially to residents in Tairāwhiti.

“You came into our lives when we needed something after Gabrielle.

“You came and helped us lift our heads up and see there was still a future in the Tairāwhiti, that we’re still part of Aotearoa.

“And that really matters because it’s not just about the building it’s about the people, you’re building lives.

“You’ve changed my perspective of how to look at architecture and what we should be in the future in Aotearoa NZ because that’s who we are and that’s why we live here.”

Apollo Projects Executive Director Paul Lloyd says he’ll never forget working with the Tairāwhiti team.

“Our vision was to create more than just a pool. We wanted to build a place where families could gather, kids could learn to swim, and friendships could flourish. Kiwa Pools is more than concrete and water; it’s a hub of connection and well-being.”

The name “Kiwa Pools” was thoughtfully gifted by the Kaumatua of Ngai Tāwhiri Hapu. It symbolises the deep connection to the land and sea and the enduring spirit of Turanganui a Kiwa.

Government funding of $40million enabled the build of the pools with Council contributing $6million. Additional external funding enabled the inclusion of a hydrotherapy pool, while solar panels on the roof contribute to sustainable operations.

Ms Thatcher Swann says Kiwa Pools is a testament to collective effort, vision, and cultural pride.

“Tairāwhiti can take pride in this architectural marvel that embodies both tradition and progress.”

For more information, visit Kiwa Pools on Council’s website.

© Scoop Media

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