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Hundreds celebrate Wanaka pools' opening

More than 700 people crowded into the new Wanaka swimming pools complex yesterday to celebrate the opening of the long-awaited facility.

It was a special occasion which followed about 15 years of, at times, heated debate about where in the town the new pools should be built, their size and what other facilities the complex should house.

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Quentin Smith (front) at the opening of the Wanaka swimming pools yesterday, with (left to right) Queenstown Lakes District Deputy Mayor Calum MacLeod, Councillor Craig "Ferg" Ferguson, Wanaka Olympian Nicky Samuels, Councillor Ross McRobie (representing one of the major funders of the pools, the Otago Community Trust) and council Chief Executive Mike Theelen. Image: Andy Brown

But, as Queenstown Lakes District councillor and Wanaka Community Board chair, Quentin Smith, predicted before the opening, people were ready to put the difficulties behind them and simply enjoy the new facility.

He said the community was gutted when, in 2014, the old swimming pool on Plantation Rd was closed, after it was found it would be at risk in an earthquake, but that finding was a turning point in the debate about the future of Wanaka’s swimming facilities. Read: Quentin Smith’s article “Wanaka celebrates new pools after 15 years of consultation”

All facilities at the Wanaka Recreation Centre in the new Three Parks development are now open – the swimming pools and the indoor and outdoor courts – seven days a week from 6am to 9pm on weekdays and 8am to 8pm on weekends and public holidays.

 

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Wanaka Olympian Nicky Samuels and Queenstown Lakes District Deputy Mayor Calum MacLeod cut the ribbon at the official opening of Wanaka's swimming pools yesterday. Image: Andy Brown

 

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The first swimmers to test the new pools, randomly drawn from members of Wanaka's swimming community, check out the lap pool. Image: Andy Brown

 

 

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The new Wanaka swimming pools complex. Image: Andy Brown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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