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Myrtha Pools technology installed at rebuilt Waiau Swimming Pool

Myrtha Pools technology installed at rebuilt Waiau Swimming Pool
August 20, 2019

Christchurch-based aquatics specialist Ian Coombes Limited has shared its experience in rebuilding the public swimming pool in the small South Island community of Waiau.

The rural North Canterbury town of approximately 250 people was left without a swimming pool after it was damaged beyond repair during the November 2016 earthquakes.

The Waiau River Valley suffers extreme seasonal temperatures, with mid-summer days in the early to mid-30 degrees a regular occurrence. With only the Waiau River to swim in, and the community's strong desire to have all local children taught to be safe in and around water, the Waiau Pool Committee set themselves a massive task to replace the pool that they had lost during the 7.8 magnitude earthquake.

Consisting of a small group of working parents, the Committee set about fundraising the required $1.6 million to build a new swimming pool complex for the Waiau Primary School and greater community.

The small community raised $300,000 for the project, which also attracted a range of funding including, as of July last year, a final $942,000 from the Lotteries Hurunui-Kaikoura Marlborough Earthquake Relief Fund.

With work commencing after the funding announcement, Ian Coombes Limited, the main contractor for the rebuild, accompanied by a talented team of local and Christchurch contractors, started digging the pool foundations and changing shed foundations early November 2018.

Just a few months later, in February this year, a new Myrtha Pools stainless steel 25 metre lap and 10 x 6 metre learners pool was opened at its Waiau Primary school site.

Architecturally designed and engineered by Create Inc Ltd, the pool uses solar heating panels for the main pool – which make use of summer heat to minimise operating costs – while the learners pool uses a heat pump for assured temperatures.

Commenting on the project, Hurunui District Council Chief Executive Hamish Dobbie said the rebuilding demonstrated the power of small communities in getting the project to completion.

He advised “it's very exciting to see the progress on this community driven facility. Whilst the council is technically the holder of this asset, the reality is that the people of Waiau have raised all the funds and overseen the construction of this pool."

Having originally been owned by the New Zealand Ministry of Education, the new facility is now Council owned and community operated.

With thanks to Angela Kearney of Ian Coombes Limited.

Click here to contact Ian Coombes Limited via their entry in the Australasian Leisure Management Supplier Directory.

Images (from top): The completed pool in the rural North Canterbury town of Waiau, the pool after the 2016 earthquake, the learners pool and the 25 metre pool.

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14th August 2019 - Ian Coombes Limited to distribute Polin Waterparks products in New Zealand

7th August 2019 - World Swimming Championships marks 10 years of partnership between FINA and Myrtha Pools

15th March 2019 - Refurbised Waipawa pool gets official opening

2nd June 2018 - Reborn QEII Recreation and Sport Centre opened in Christchurch

2nd May 2018 - Myrtha Pools equips new aquatic playground and waterslides for P&O cruise ship

12th April 2018 - Myrtha Pools reveals new branding

4th March 2017 - FINA and Myrtha combine to launch global ‘Pools for All’ initiative

14th November 2016 - Business as usual for Christchurch following South Island earthquake

31st December 2015 - Christchurch leisure pool closes for post earthquake repairs

17th February 2015 - Myrtha movable bulkheads allow multiple pool activities

24th January 2011 - Earthquake Repairs Scheduled for Christchurch Pools


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