An artist's impression of the planned hydrotherapy pool - an important element of the planned aquatic centre. PHOTO/SUPPLIED
Labour's promise of $3m for a Far North sports hub is exciting as the facility is about future proofing Kaitaia, says the chairman of the hub.
Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern announced on Saturday a Labour Government would inject $2.8m from the Regional Development Fund into the Te Hiku Sports Hub - a multi-sports hub being developed in Kaitaia which will include facilities for athletics, swimming, football, rugby, cricket, league, softball and archery.
David Senior, chairman of Te Hiku Sports Hub Inc, said the announcement was huge.
"Nowadays clubs with fields are finding it really difficult to maintain their clubs and all the rest of it. It's going to be huge for Kaitaia, I actually say it's about future proofing Kaitaia because as much as we have rugby fields and other things all over the place we need to have a place near town where it can be multiple use and a safe environment for young people and elderly," he said.
The Far North District Council has approved the first stage of the project which included the upgrading of land, creating fields and improving existing ones. Once the weather clears this work will begin. The second stage is the aquatic centre which will cost $8.4m.
Far North District Council has committed to a targeted rate to fund a third of this, about $2.9m, if the other $5.5m is fundraised.
The money committed by Labour will go towards that $5.5m but is provisional on the remainder of the money being raised for the project by the community.
"What I want to do is fundraise more than that so the targeted rate becomes less for the local people," Mr Senior said.
Included in the plans is a group hydrotherapy pool, a learn to swim pool, and an eight lane, 25m lap/recreation pool. The complex will also include shared club meeting rooms, team changing rooms, a cardio gym and other facilities.
Ms Ardern said she had been very impressed by plans for Kaitaia's Te Hiku Sports Hub.
Labour Deputy Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis said the aquatic facilities were important for young people to learn to swim and older people to remain active.
"The people of the Far North and Kaitaia have been crying out for a facility that will bring our communities together and provide positive health and recreation options."