The first stage in the court case against the Napier City Council's new aquatic centre has begun but it will be more than a week before residents know the outcome.

A hearing kicked off in the Wellington High Court on Thursday with Friends of the Onekawa Centre Society seeking a court order that would stop construction work on the new pool taking place until the court case had been heard.

A spokesperson for Napier City Council said until a decision on the court order is made, the project will continue in a "managed" way.

"The resource consent process will continue, and the tender process has now closed.


"Tenders will now be evaluated, with a final decision made after 30 July.

"Preloading of the Prebensen Dr site will continue due to the significant savings that can be achieved by doing it now, and on the basis that the fill can be used for other projects if the Aquatic facility does not proceed."

The society filed an injunction against Napier City Council earlier this year to stop the tendering process for the new Prebensen Dr/Tamatea Dr site, with the case likely to be heard later this year.

The new pool has proved contentious in the community and within council chambers.

It was consulted on with the public during council's Long-Term Plan process, with 51 per cent of submitters in favour of the $41.3 million new pool, on the corner of Prebensen and Tamatea Drives.

On feedback, 49 per cent of submitters were in favour of upgrading the aquatic centre site at Onekawa, at a cost of $20.2 million.

The long-term plan passed in council with eight votes to five.

In December, six councillors called an extraordinary meeting of council asking for the matter to be reopened for consultation. The decision was denied on a 7-6 vote.


The scope of tender was approved by a one-vote margin in April after a 6-6 split left acting Mayor Faye White with the deciding vote.

The pool, which has $41.3 million allocated to it, is the most expensive capital project in Napier City Council's history.

The project could cost up to $44.3 million, but the final $3 million is yet to be approved.