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Review recommends changes to Wellington’s LeisureCard scheme

Review recommends changes to Wellington’s LeisureCard scheme
June 19, 2019

Wellington City Council’s LeisureCard scheme is set to get a refresh to ensure it reaches the people who need it most, those in vulnerable positions or financial hardship.

By extending eligibility and partnering with organisations that work most closely with those in need, the Council feels that barriers can be removed and it will help more people access recreation programmes and services.

The LeisureCard scheme, which offers discounts for Wellington City Council-owned swimming pools, gyms and recreational facilities, had recommended changes presented at last week’s City Strategy Committee meeting following a review agreed upon by Councillors last year.

The City Strategy Committee agreed recommended changes to the LeisureCard, including:

• Through partnerships with agencies supporting people in need – auto-issue the LeisureCard to eligible people, including City Housing tenants, Green Prescription holders, Housing NZ and other Community Housing tenants, and those with a refugee background.
• Extend the life of the LeisureCard for people with a Community Services Card from one to two years, with an easier application and renewal process.
• Adding three new eligibility criteria to the scheme – other community housing tenants (including 1,700 Housing NZ), people with a refugee background, people living in high deprivation who are receiving support from an NGO (including mental health support).
• SuperGold Card holders who have a SuperGold+CSC ‘Combo card’ will continue to be eligible for the full range of LeisureCard discounts, while SuperGold card holders will get a standard 20% discount at Council pools and recreation centres.
• Students will receive a 20% discount for pool and recreation centre entry.
• Community Services Card holders who choose not to apply for a LeisureCard or who live outside of Wellington City will be eligible for a 20% discount on pool and recreation centre entry, swimming lessons, and recreation centre programmes.

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester supports the recommendations and agrees with the review findings, commenting “the recommendations will ensure that the scheme has the greatest benefits for those who need it most.

“By extending eligibility and partnering with organisations that work most closely with those in need we can remove barriers and help more people access Council programmes and services.”

SuperGold card holders who also hold a community services card will continue to be eligible for the full range of LeisureCard discounts. Whilst those without a community services card are no longer eligible to join the scheme, anyone with a SuperGold card will get a standard 20% discount on entry to Council facilities on presentation of their SuperGold card.

Council Recreation Portfolio leader Fleur Fitzsimons says the aim of the LeisureCard is to support people in financial need to access Council’s recreation facilities for a number of reasons.

Fitzsimons added “we place a high value on the importance of learning to swim, staying fit, healthy, active, and engaging with the community – and making these all accessible for everybody in the capital.

“I believe these recommended changes, and the Council’s partnerships with groups working with people in need, will ensure this happens better.

“I am committed to working with the arts community, sports clubs and private businesses in Wellington to increase the benefits offered by the Leisure Card over time."

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