The $30 million conversation starter

Bay Venues Ltd wants feedback about the city’s leisure facilities future. Photo: Supplied.

Suggestions about the future development of Tauranga sport and leisure facilities are meant as ‘conversations starters' says Bay Venues chairman Peter Farmer.

 He's pleased the Council is committing $150,000 next financial year for a detailed feasibility study into Bay Venue's multi-purpose recreation centre idea. 

The proposed $30m 'leisure hub' intended at this stage for Memorial Park, is a multi-purpose recreation centre that could potentially include indoor pools, courts and a fitness centre as well as a community centre, hot pools and spa complex.

The demand for such a CBD-based centre will be driven by actual and projected population growth, an increase in facility users, city centre intensification and Tauranga's new tertiary campus (that will not include a recreation centre).

If the centre goes ahead, Bay Venues will be looking at all funding options, including seeking funding in the form of a public/private partnership, says Peter.

Also suggested by Bay Venues Ltd are improvements to Greerton and Baywave pools and an extension at ASB Baypark.

Bay Venues, a council-controlled organisation and key provider of sport and recreation facilities, presented the ideas to Tauranga City Council's draft Long-Term Plan this week.

Tauranga's growth is not expected to stop anytime soon, and Bay Venues released suggestions to deal with the city's growing recreational needs, says Peter.

The feasibility study will investigate whether the proposed $30m centre could replace Tauranga's Memorial and Otumoetai pools, which date back to 1955 and 1968.  Before going to Council, Bay Venues completed a needs assessment for a city centre facility before going to the council, says Bay Venues chief executive Gary Dawson.

“It revealed these ageing facilities will require significant investment and increased operating expenses to continue to provide the current level of service,” says Gary.

The feasibility study will also look at potential locations, of which Memorial Park is one.

It is Bay Venues responsibility to look at the provision of recreation services now and for the future and suggest possible solutions.

 “The only way the city can progress is to have leadership around what such proposals for future development could look like. We feel comfortable we have done our due diligence in bringing this concept to the table,” says Gary.

“We are dealing with this one step at a time and not getting ahead of ourselves. It is important first of all that, as a city, we identify whether there is a need for change and if so, only then consider what that change could look like.”

The feasibility study will allow for a thorough community engagement process to occur, particularly with existing pool users.

 “We want people to start looking at what the city could look like and think about recreation for the future. It may be that that feedback informs us of needs we are not aware of,” says Gary.

Councillors also agreed to Bay Venues request to set aside provisional funding of $30 million, dependant on the study outcome, to design and build the leisure hub in four or five years' time. This provisional future funding will need to be confirmed in the 2021-2031 Long-Term Plan.

Other projects Bay Venues brought to the Council table this week include a new exhibition centre at Baypark, and rejuvenation of Baywave and the Greerton pools. All met with Council approval for inclusion in the draft Long-Term Plan 2018-2028.

At the 45 year old Greerton Aquatic and Leisure Centre, Bay Venues is proposing the construction of a new entranceway, reception area and offices, plus new changing rooms and cubicles.

At Baywave, the intention is to provide more fun activities and services for recreational swimmers. These include changes to the aqua play area, adding more spectator seating and extending the outside area, adding new family/private changing rooms and reconfiguring lane space in the leisure pool to free up more space for recreational users.

Bay Venues other significant proposal is the development of a new multi-purpose exhibition space at ASB Baypark for events such as exhibitions and entertainment. This would release pressure placed on the demand for the spaces in ASB Arena which has arisen due to Tauranga's rapid growth, Mr Dawson says.


Miss Adventurous

Posted on 29-10-2017 12:22 | By MISS ADVENTURE

That much is clear, catch up and figure that out bro. I agree I have targeted COunciil, that is obvious, but you have to understand(I know it is really hard to) that they make it sooooooooo easy, it is just unbelievable that such silliness gets placed in the public arena and somehow they can stand there and exstoll the wonders when it is glaringly crazy before the idea even emerged. Do you get the picture?

@Misadventure whoever he/it/she is;

Posted on 22-10-2017 11:03 | By Papamoaner

As usual, you are off on a tangent of madness and delerium. I didn't advocate it as a good thing nor a bad thing. I merely made the observation it's happening (globally in fact) and suggesting how best to survive it. The problem with you Missy is that you are a passionate BLAME freak. Not everybody looks around for someone to blame, in your case usually the council because that's who collects your rates, such is the outer limit of your vision.

@ Poppa-rail-less

Posted on 21-10-2017 17:31 | By MISS ADVENTURE

So you think then that a good idea to build massive glass structures (ratepayer borrowed mega millions) for grand ivory towers and meanwhile the retailers all pack their bags and leave? So as much as I agree that all cities should go up not outwards and more of that is better in fact should be 100% so. What I have issue with is the inane stupids from City Hall, the waste of monies, the craziest scheme and ideas that have all been tried before and failed ... Soooo along comes TCC to reinvent that and the result will be the same ... AGAIN. Debt-spend-white-elaphant-costly-losses-increased-staff-numbers-more-thinking at town hall (repeat the before list to here - repeat again) demolish and then repeat the before list to here - repeat again ... That is the TCC-lifecycle. The end result for ratepayers is rocketing-debt, rates and nothing useful to see for it.

Think laterally

Posted on 21-10-2017 13:11 | By Papamoaner

Convert the CBD to a mixture of office/ residential. You can't fight nature, and city density evolution is part of it. It's happening everywhere. These trends are an early warning signal. If I was a CBD retailer, I would be looking to move my business into a mall or similar. Once it happens and CBD apartments spring up, it might get followed by a prolification of cafes, then restaurants. Sometimes we just have to go with the flow

@ old trucker

Posted on 20-10-2017 11:03 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Bayfair, Papamoa, Greerton, Fraser Cove, Gate Pa, Bethlehem shopping centers are all ripping busienss away from the CBD, they offer more, better and there are car parks avaialble - most important when no useful public transport. These factors all help to destroy the CBD, but the biggest factor is TCC's inane idea that it can fix it, that it can remedy and "make it all better". To date (obvious) all of TCC's desperate and huge spending to date has not averted teh trent downward.

@ mutley

Posted on 20-10-2017 10:58 | By MISS ADVENTURE

They want both ... they want it all, not jsut a few bits or some. Come on catch up it is all about greed, spending and creatuing massive empires for no useful purpose.

@ Murray

Posted on 20-10-2017 10:53 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Sadly for the CBD, TCC resides there, the CBD is on the downward slide because of TCC but TCC think and believe that they are the wonderful saviour of the CBD hence the massive, huge meaningless spending. Yes, most development is at the end ot Papamoa, Lakes/Tauriko and north of Bethlehem, and as the city stretches out the CBD becomes piggy in the middle stuck on the tip of a penninsular. I am sure you are aware Murray, that the TCC Council organisation is running alone out of control, dreaming up ever more rediculous stuff to spend on and create. None of it is any use for anything, all terribly expensive and as usual all in the wrong place. Has anything changed since you were there?

Way better ....

Posted on 20-10-2017 09:48 | By mutley

than a museum.

50m Pool

Posted on 20-10-2017 09:28 | By dookie

Please consider a 50m pool.

agree with Murray Guy

Posted on 20-10-2017 09:25 | By old trucker

you are spot on Murray,all these grand schemes,makes ya sick, Bayfair will take more people away from cbd, with their expansion,anyway Sunlive brings us the BEST NEWS in NZ ,AWESOME Thankyou,10-4 out. phew.

I can live with the explanation but why the spin ..

Posted on 20-10-2017 08:13 | By Murray.Guy

I can live with the explanation but why the spin? Make imminent sense, IN PART, and absolutely no sense IN PART. Our growth is largely to the east, Papamoa. Why the constant CBD focus and CBD branding for Memorial Park, why do ratepayers have to meet a need the university folk have determined is not a need and not funding? Who plucked $30 million out of the air, clearly being significantly insufficient to meeting the initiatives proposed? BVL, independent of the City Council, why the constant attack on the ratepayers credit card? Surely it is the role of the 'elected members of Tauranga City Council' in consultation with those they represent, the Tauranga community, to determine and champion our future needs as a city, with Bay Venues being the vehicle 'after the decision' and just 'one' party to the process.

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