Half of Napier's 12 councillors are slamming the city's new pool plan and say the process was "flawed" from the outset.

Councillors Tony Jeffery, Kirsten Wise, Larry Dallimore, Maxine Boag, Api Tapine, and Richard McGrath wrote an opinion piece in today's Hawke's Bay Today claiming the decision to demolish the existing aquatic centre in Onekawa is the wrong move.

Wise said she did not think the council had a mandate from the public to move the aquatic centre to Prebensen Dr.

Kirsten Wise, who is one of six councillors opposed to moving the aquatic centre. Photo / File
Kirsten Wise, who is one of six councillors opposed to moving the aquatic centre. Photo / File

She said what they saw in council reflected the community, in that it was split down the middle.


"In my mind if you've got a split like that, then I believe there is not enough information, because if there's enough information you have a more clear cut outcome."

She said the process was flawed.

"All of us were under the impression that we had an opportunity to re-debate it and vote again, and then that was taken away from us."

"The information that was actually included in the long term plan document was not like for like, the financial information in particular was quite misleading."

Councillor Richard McGrath said councillors had to fight to get information on the issue.

He said the people of Napier had not been listened too.

"I feel the residents of Napier need to be better heard by council and not be ignored or fobbed off."

Mayor Bill Dalton said council did have a mandate to move forward with the decision.

"I'm a firm believer in democracy and that's what democracy delivers."

"If a majority is in favour of shifting the pools then that's what happens."

He refused to comment on the process.

Councillor Keith Price, who is in favour of the move, said some parts of the process could have been done better, but the question was whether councillors were in a position to make a sound decision.

"I feel that I am."

He said council believed in doing something once and doing it properly, and that is what the new pools would achieve.

"I use Anderson Park as an example, we went big and we made it the best."

"I think that's the same with the swimming pool."

He said the new site had the potential to become a sports hub, there was room for expansion, and that it was still accessible to the community.

Councillors against the move stated reasons such as being more central and accessible, and being close to other recreation facilities.

McGrath said New Zealand's recreational facility standards recommend not building near a main road or waterway.

"It's got both of those in Prebensen Dr."

An extraordinary meeting of council will be held later this month to consider whether council should re-consult the public on the issue.

The Prebensen Dr site is expected to cost $41 million.