Representatives from Kauri Coast Community Pool Trust and Kaipara District Council met with those from Sport Northland to hand over the operation of the pool facilities

Community pool handover

by Jill Dickie

Official documentation has been signed handing over the control of the Kauri Coast Community Pool to Sport Northland, allowing them to continue pool operations and ensuring the facility will continue to flourish. Sport Northland will investigate closing in part of the space for year-round access.

The decision was made late in 2018 to finalise the agreement between the Kauri Coast Community Pool Trust and Kaipara District Council with Sport Northland, which has extensive experience in operating, managing and developing such facilities.

The KCCPT was formed in 2006 with the aim of developing the replacement community pool, to include the solar-heated 50-metre outdoor pool, hydrotherapy pool, learn to swim pool, grandstand, changing rooms and an office and reception area, all of which opened in 2010.

Trust chair, Vern Stevens, said that having Sport Northland as the trust governing the complex ensures that the facility will continue to improve long term.

“The KCCPT acknowledges there are some outstanding local community leaders with great ideas and vision for the complex, who will be needed to work with Sport Northland to make the complex more user-friendly for the whole community.”

The pool area was described as a fantastic asset by Kaipara District Council chief executive, Louise Miller, who said that the community should feel comfort from having Sport Northland involved.

“The decision for council to work alongside a specialised organisation like Sport Northland is a great opportunity to futureproof the pool and to ensure many people will enjoy it for years to come,” said Miller.

Sport Northland chief executive, Brent Eastwood, said that the agreement fits well with his organisation’s goal of providing quality spaces and events that encourage more Northlanders to enjoy active recreation and sport.

The Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand suggests keeping actively involved in some form of sport and the outdoors, reduces the effects of stress and depression, creating a general feeling of wellbeing, which lasts for hours afterwards. A 2018 study in the United Kingdom on the benefits of swimming showed outstandingly positive results. Forty-three per cent of respondents stated it made them feel happier, 26 per cent said it made them feel more motivated and 15 per cent said it made them feel more able to cope with everyday life.

Nationally, there are organisations such as New Zealand Rugby and Sovereign Insurance, which encourage their staff to swim and take part in an activity for mental wellbeing.