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 (altering the main doors to prevent the wind tunnel effect).
• Minor refurbishments to the indoor / outdoor spa pools and lazy river
• 50m pool will be deepened, lengthened, and a ‘bulkhead’ installed to allow the pool to change between one 50m pool, or two 25m pools
• Changing room upgrades
• Roof repair (or replacement)
• New ventilation systems
• New fire system
• New ceiling design for the indoor pool area
• New indoor floor coverings

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

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?

Rotorua Lakes Council has agreed to fund the initial stage of the redevelopment of the Aquatic Centre. An investment of $7.5 million will be spread over the first three years of the Long-term plan. This first stage of investment is critical in order attract additional external investor interest for subsequent stages of development.

Rārangi Wā

April 2019 – Geotechnical testing at the outdoor pool
May 2019 – Bore-hole testing and resistivity, ground-penetrating radar tests
June – October 2019 – Electrical and fire system testing
June – October 2019 – In-depth investigations into the centre’s roof conditions
June – October 2019 – In-dept investigations into 50m pool stability

Latest news
Whakahou Kawepūrongo

Aquatic Centre Update May 2019 – Ground testing underway
Aquatic Centre Update Nov 2019 – What’s been happening behind the scenes

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 will the work start?

As less people use the outdoor pool in winter it will be the best time to begin the 50m pool upgrades.  That work is expected to take at least four months. To complete the indoor work, including the roof, the most sensible time would be in the warmer, drier season (late spring to early autumn). Once investigations and plans are finalised a start date will be confirmed.  Council will continue to keep staff, pool users and the community up to date on any project timings that will affect them.

What has happened so far?

– 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.

When will the work finish?

Finish dates will depend on when the redevelopment begins. Council expects the indoor work to take at least six months. The outdoor work on the 50m pool will also take a similar time. These jobs will not be done at the same time.