A $40k solution to ease pressure on Napier pools was dropped by Napier City Council yesterday in favour of a scaled back version.

During a council meeting it was agreed to extend the opening hours of the Napier Aquatic Centre on weekends and public holidays, but not on weekdays during term time, as recommended.

Changing these hours altogether was expected to cost Napier ratepayers around $42,450 a year.

This decision had been postponed from a community services committee meeting earlier this month, after councillors voiced their "uncertainty" about the proposal.


The council has faced increasing public criticism about the lack of swimming spaces in the city, with the Napier Aquatic Centre one of its few pools.

Currently the lanes of both pools at the centre are booked from 3pm to 7pm during term time by the Aquahawks Swim Club, and swim school.

At the committee meeting, councillors noted the situation had reached a "pinch-point", but some questioned the timing of these changes given the current training set-up had been in place for nearly a decade, and the potential development of a new pool.

Unlike this meeting, yesterday's discussion was limited.

Councillor Graeme Taylor said council did have a responsibility to provide recreation space but did not think the recommended solution was the right one at this time.

Deputy Mayor Faye White said she felt the council should stick with the status quo.

"The current facility has serious limitations as it is, and one can only hope we can now fast track our aquatic facility for the future."

A paper before council noted making no changes to the hours of operation would continue to disadvantage the community for up to three years before an adequate facility was built.

Councillors agreed to an amended resolution that the centre open at an earlier time of 9am on Saturdays, and 10am on Sundays and public holidays.

The paper before council yesterday noted while some lost revenue was projected "in reality the swim school will likely increase pool densities to meet demand where possible, so it is likely the projected lost revenue will be minimised".

The initial changes - including longer opening hours and a shifting of swimming lanes - were expected to result in an estimated $70,000 of lost income which could be partially offset.