Auckland’s youth can swim free

From today (Tuesday 2 April) young Aucklanders will have free access to all council-owned pools.
 
Mayor Len Brown and Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse today marked the start of this new initiative, for young aged 16 years and under, by visiting West Wave Aquatic Centre in Henderson and speaking to some of the people that will benefit from free pools.
 
“In a region surrounded by sea, swimming and spending summer at the beach is a rite of passage, and it’s vitally important to give our young people the skills to do that safely and wisely,” says Len Brown.
 
“Free access to public pools is one way of giving our young people a stronger start in life, an avenue to important skills, enjoyable physical activity and good fun,” he says.
 
Young people aged 16 years and under will have free access to core facilities during operating hours. Charges will apply to all non-core facility areas like spas, sauna, steam, special play equipment, dive-boards and hydroslides, and for programmes such as learn to swim.
 
All adults (17 years and over) will be charged to access council-owned pools, including in the Manukau area where entry has until now been free.
 
More information is available on the Auckland Council website.
 
Fact sheet below.
 

Free pools for young people 16 and under

 

From 2 April 2013, young Aucklanders will have free access to all council pools across the region during standard operating hours. This is the result of a council vote in 2012 to make all council-owned pools free for young people aged 16 years and under.

 

As part of council’s Auckland Plan vision for children and young people, this initiative will:

  • enable all young people to access aquatic facilities
  • promote a sense of belonging
  • provide equity of access across the Auckland region
  • help raise the level of children’s swimming abilities.

 

What’s new from 2 April 2013?

  • Children and young people aged 16 years and under will have free access to core pool facilities during standard operating hours.
  • Adults (17 years and over) will be charged to access council-owned pool facilities. This particularly affects pool users in the Manukau area where adult entry has been free, with the exception of Moana-Nui-a-Kiwa, Otara Leisure Centre and Papatoetoe Centennial Pools which will remain free for adults.
  • Charges will apply to all non-core facility areas like spas, saunas, steam rooms, special play equipment, dive boards and hydroslides.
  • There will be no charge for school groups to book space between 9am and 3pm on school days (unless booking exclusive use).
  • There will be no charge for groups of young people (16 years and under) to book space during standard operating hours (unless booking exclusive use).

Introducing adult charges

The new fees for Manukau pool users are equal to the lowest charges in our network of pools. The lowest adult casual swim charge of $3.10 will be adopted at Lloyd Elsmore Park Leisure Centre, Manurewa Aquatic Centre and Totara Park Pool.

 

There are multi-swim concessions and discounts for seniors, students, community services card holders, supervising adults and people with disabilities.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

Will young people (16 and under) be able to swim for free at all council-owned swimming pools?

Yes, except for at Newmarket Olympic Pool, Mt Albert Wave Pool and Sacred Heart College Pool which are not owned by council or have separate contract arrangements.

 

Twenty-two (22) pools are covered by the swimming pool pricing policy prepared for this initiative.

 

Why has the Auckland Council made pools free for young people (16 and under)?

This initiative is part of the Auckland Council’s efforts to get more children and young people involved in recreation and increasing the swimming ability of young Aucklanders.

 

Will young people (16 and under) be able to swim for free all of the time or will there be restrictions?

During normal operating hours, young people aged 16 and under will not be charged to use the core areas of the facility.

 

Will this policy increase the risk of kids being dropped off at pools without adult supervision?

Auckland Council’s pool alone policy has been reviewed and from 2 April 2013 children 10 years and under will require active adult supervision by an adult 17 years or over to enter the facility.

 


Will there be consistent charges across all the pools?

No, the existing charges for adults will stay the same at the pools that currently charge and a charge introduced for adults at the Manukau pools.

 

Adult pricing ranges from $3.10 to $6.90. Child prices that were in place until 1 April 2013 ranged from $1.10 to $4.60.

 

What is happening with the local boards (Mangere-Otahuhu and Otara-Papatoetoe) that want free entry or cheaper entry for adults into their local pools (Papatoetoe Centennial Pool, Moana-Nui-a-Kiwa, Otara Leisure Centre)?

The Mangere-Otahuhu and Otara-Papatoetoe local boards recently consulted, through council’s annual plan, on introducing a targeted rate to fund free entry or cheaper entry for adults at their local pools. A decision on this will not happen until June 2013 after all feedback from the public has been considered and council adopts the 2012/13 annual plan.

 

In the meantime, the local boards have requested that charges not be introduced for adults at Papatoetoe Centennial Pool, Moana-Nuia-Kiwa and Otara Leisure Centre on 2 April 2013.

 

More information is available on the Auckland Council website.

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