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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern opens Hawke’s Bay Regional Aquatic Centre

Innovative procurement and contracting approach boosts suite of facilities to create world-class complex

The Hawke’s Bay Regional Aquatic Centre with a long-course 50m pool is set to be a game changer for competitive swimming as well as other pool-based sports and has the potential to attract world-class events.

New Zealand’s newest indoor aquatic complex today reached the finish line on time and with additional facilities incorporated due to an innovative procurement and contracting approach pioneered by the Hawke’s Bay Community Fitness Centre Trust (HBCFCT) and Crown Infrastructure Partners.

Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Jacinda Ardern today officially opened the $32 million Hawke’s Bay Regional Aquatic Centre in Hastings, funded through the COVID Infrastructure Recovery Fund.

Bruce Mactaggart, HBCFCT Founding Trustee – who led the design and construction of the project - said the aquatic complex is “even bigger and better than originally planned”.

The impressive complex features a ten-lane 50 metre FINA World Championship/Olympic standard pool, which can be split into two 25 metre competition pools by using a moveable bulkhead and also houses another 25 metre learn-to-swim/warm up pool.

Mr Mactaggart said the initial scope originally planned for the project was delivered under budget, enabling the addition of two hydrotherapy pools which will be available for rehabilitation and therapeutic applications, as well as being used by athletes for recovery and coaching purposes.

“In the current climate, it is a significant achievement that, working alongside our partners at Apollo Projects, we have been able to finish the complex on time and within budget; and so, have been able to add extra features such as the hydrotherapy centre.

“Our aquatic offering is now unparalleled in New Zealand and is specifically designed as a deep-water pool to enhance our ability to host many different sports, including water polo and canoe polo, in addition to major national and international swimming events.

A suite of multipurpose rooms has also been added which can accommodate meetings, conferences and which will support the hosting of major events in the region.

The completion of the aquatic centre, designed and built by Apollo Projects, boosts the investment in sport, recreation and wellbeing facilities created by HBCFCT to over an $85 million investment, all achieved in just over six years since the charity was founded.

Apollo Project’s Executive Director and Chief Executive, Paul Lloyd, said it has been a privilege to deliver a regional aquatic facility that will create future champions of water-based sports as well as improve water confidence and enhance the wellbeing of Hawke’s Bay residents.

“It has been an absolute privilege working alongside Bruce and the HBCFCT team to deliver this incredible facility. Apollo has a close connection to aquatic sports, so the completion of this new world-class aquatic facility is something we are very proud of.

“The aquatic facility is a fantastic showcase of everyone’s hard work, and we are delighted to hand over this project without any delays or cost blowouts, which is a great outcome when you consider the current challenging construction environment. On behalf of the Apollo team, we would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has been involved; the strong partnerships and high levels of trust have been key to this project’s success.”

In 2016, the HBCFCT’s Founding Chair Sir Graeme Avery and Mr Mactaggart announced their vision to enhance the health and lifestyles of Hawke’s Bay people through the provision of world-class sport and health facilities, community-based outreach programmes, research, and education.

Since then, the Trust has opened the EIT Institute of Health & Sport multi-purpose facility with a community gym and high-performance strength and conditioning gym, indoor athletics track, a basketball/netball court, education classrooms and meeting rooms, specialist sports health clinic (which includes physiotherapy, sports medicine practitioners and imaging services). Just recently, a further extension to the main sports hall has been completed along with a 72-bedroom accommodation hostel.

Mr Mactaggart thanked the Government for having the confidence in the Trust to complete the project, which created over 160 jobs, involving more than 130,000 construction man hours worked over 20 months. He particularly wanted to thank the lead contractor, Apollo Projects, and the many supporting local trade businesses that worked with them.

“They have all worked incredibly hard to ensure the completion of this project in less than two years, and within budget; an amazing feat really, particularly when you consider the impact of COVID19.”

The aquatic centre opens to the public on September 1 and 60 staff will then be employed throughout the HBCFCT facilities. The aquatic centre alone will employ a centre manager, lifeguards, a learn to swim manager and other support staff.

Further Information:

Apollo Projects

HBCFCT Fact Sheet - Final July 2022
Download PDF • 522KB

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