Rotorua Aquatic Centre redevelopment

The Rotorua Aquatic Centre caters for local, regional and national aquatic sports, and provides recreational, health, fitness and leisure programmes and services.

The Centre has the only outdoor heated 50m pool in the country (with natural geothermal resources used for heating purposes). The centre attracts more than 350,000 visits per year and the ‘learn to swim’ programme teaches more than 67,000 lessons annually.

For more information and admission prices, please visit:

What is being proposed?
He aha e marohitia ana?

Several key issues have been identified that need to be improved before the Aquatic Centre’s level of service can get back to what the community expects.

Council’s is ensuring the facility meets modern safety codes, is fit-for-purpose and future-proofed is the first stage of the redevelopment.

This work includes:

  • Foyer improvements (including changes to the entry and exit doors to stop the wind blowing through onto the leisure pool)
  • Indoor changing room upgrades
  • Installation of new indoor ventilation systems
  • Upgrade of the fire safety system
  • Installation of new indoor floor coverings
  • Replacement or refurbishment of the pool hall roof.

Rotorua Lakes Council is working on a phased approach to the redevelopment of the Centre. This will see the Council undertake the necessary first steps in order to bring the facilities up to a standard the community expects and provide the best platform for long-term use of the Centre. This initial investment is critical in order to attract potential external investors for further developments.

Subsequent stages have the potential to include:
• Development of café and gymnasium
• Enhanced outdoor water play area
• Redevelopment of outdoor change rooms
• Hydro slides
• A dedicated bombing pool

50m pool refurbishment complete

The upgrade to the 50m outdoor pool at Rotorua Aquatic Centre was a key focus of the redevelopment project. The renovated pool was reopened to the public in March 2021.

Why is this project important?
He aha te tino take o te hinonga?

The community has told Council that it values the Aquatic Centre as a facility for locals to use and enjoy. Council reflected this feedback in the 2018-2028 Long-term Plan within which it set out $7.5 million to go towards the initial stages of the redevelopment of the Aquatic Centre facilities.

Who has been part of the project development?
Nā wai te hinonga i whakarite?

Council has been working with the Aquatic Centre’s management company CLM as well as pool users and community members to ensure it meets the needs of the people of Rotorua.

Council and CLM are continuing to work to secure external funding for investment into added assets.

How is this being funded?
I ahu mai te pūtea i hea?

Through the 2018-2028 Long-term Plan Rotorua Lakes Council agreed to fund the initial stages of the redevelopment of the Aquatic Centre. An investment of $7.5 million spread over the first three years of that Long-term Plan period. These first stages of investment are critical in order attract additional external investor interest for subsequent stages of development.

To support the work to upgrade and improve the 50m outdoor pool council received generous funding grants of more than $1 million. These grants were made up of $500,000 from NZ Community Trust and $700,000 from Grassroots Trust Limited and Lottery Grants Board.

Latest news
Whakahou Kawepūrongo

Aquatic Centre Update May 2019 – Ground testing underway
Aquatic Centre Update Nov 2019 – What’s been happening behind the scenes
Aquatic Centre update Sept 2020 – Aquatic Centre 50m pool construction set to begin
Aquatic Centre update Oct 2020 – Project update: milestone for Aquatic Centre
Aquatic Centre update Dec 2020 – upgrade on track for early 2021 completion
Aquatic Centre update Jan 2021 – 50m pool open within a month
Aquatic Centre update Feb 2021 – Making a splash at the Rotorua Aquatic Centre
Aquatic Centre update Feb 2021 – Funding boost for Aquatic Centre project
Aquatic Centre update Mar 2021 – 50m pool reopens to the public
Aquatic Centre update June 2021 – Outdoor changing rooms to get a makeover

Pātai Putuputu

What services are available at the Aquatic Centre?

The Aquatic Centre caters for local, regional and national aquatic sports, and provides recreational, health, fitness and leisure programmes and services.

When was the 50m pool refurbished?

Work to refurbish the outdoor 50m pool at Rotorua Aquatic Centre began in September 2020 and was complete and open to the public in March 2021.

What improvements were made to the 50m pool?

– pool structure renovated to increase the depth to 1.4 metres to meet International Swimming Federation depth standards
– extra length added to accommodate a bulkhead which can be shifted to create two 25 metre pools
– new pool liner
– a new filtration system
– a PoolPod accessibility lift
– a new decking pool surround
– new start blocks for swimmers

What investigations took place prior to the 50m pool refurbishment?

– Geotechnical testing to check the strength of the ground around the 50m pool.
– Resistivity, ground-penetrating radar and bore-hole testing has been undertaken to better understand the ground (and potential leaks) underneath the 50m pool.
– In-depth investigations into the centre’s roof conditions including reviews of mechanical strength of metal and wooden structures, corrosion, weather-tightness and ventilation.
– Checks on the strength of the large wooden frames that support the roof.
– Fire safety investigation.
– Electrical supply investigation.
– In depth investigations into the 50m pool stability.