It's been a long time coming, but Napier finally looks set to get a new swimming facility - with even a 50m pool on the cards.

For several years there has been concern about the lack of swimming spaces in the city, with only two pools available to the public - the Napier Aquatic Centre, and Ocean Spa.

More pressure was placed on these facilities after the closure of Greendale Pool last year.

But this looks to end, with four options for the expansion of the Onekawa Centre - ranging from a $16million "no frills replacement" to a $38million, new 50m pool development - set to go out for public consultation.


These are outlined in a business case into the centre's expansion, which the Napier City Council's Strategy and Infrastructure committee will be asked to approve tomorrow.

Each option was hoped to address issues highlighted in the council-commissioned business case by Global Leisure Group - including that the centre was not meeting current demand, and could not cater for a changing population.

The building was also "not fit for purpose", there were other issues with the centre's design, and potential sources of income were restricted.

Yesterday Napier Mayor Bill Dalton said he was pleased the community could have their say - with the committee asked tomorrow to put three options out for public consultation.

Although the community has been vocal about wanting an Olympic size pool, this option will only be included to ensure the community are "fully informed".

The business case instead pushes for the option of a new $37million build including a 25m by 25m pool, said to be the most cost-effective way to meet the community's needs.

The 50m option is only expected to cost about a million more than the 25m, but would have higher operating costs and was not expected to meet community needs as well, the report noted.

"There will be some who will want the 50m I'm sure, and it would be very prestigious to have it but the experts tell us that what is required is a 25m pool with extra lane space," Mr Dalton said.

"I think [residents] need to look at it practically and know that at the end of the day...swimming pools are quite a sizable impost on rates, and my view is there's no point building something that's not required."

The third option to be consulted is a $19.5million expansion of the current Ivan Wilson complex.

As long as more pool space was developed, this would be welcomed by Taradale Primary School principal Marty Hantz. His school had felt the effects of limited pool space, as Taradale's only pool - Greendale - had been located on site.

Yesterday he said the additional pool area the two new build options were supposed to achieve - between 42 and 65 per cent- would be "fabulous".

"My preference would be for something that would have the capacity for every student in the Napier region to have lane space and coaching time," he said.

"The cost is almost irrelevant, what matters is what the community really needs, and what [the facility] could offer the community."

The principal hoped whichever proposal was taken forward, it would have enough facilities to allow for children to learn to swim, for casual swimmers, and would cater for aqua sports.

"If they don't, they're letting down their community."

Yesterday the centre were unable to comment on the proposed expansion. On their behalf council Director Community Services Antoinette Campbell said staff there were excited about being part of the development of the new facilities.

"There's a great level of ownership taken and they are very much looking forward to being able to better meet the community's needs."

Sport Hawke's Bay were unable to comment yesterday.

Following consultation, the recommended option will be presented to the council. A funding model would be included in the Long Term Plan 2018-2028, Mr Dalton said.

He noted that "swimming pool's get paid for out of rates, so whatever the advice we receive back from the community and following that whatever decision we make will be one way or another, rate funded".

- Tomorrow's committee meeting will be held at the Taradale Town Hall, following a Regulatory committee meeting which begins at 1pm.