Auckland Council will reopen the remainder of its libraries and most of its pools across the Auckland region from next week.
The reopening, along with the phased reopening of many community venues over the coming month, will come as welcome news to book lovers, keen swimmers and those who use the council’s arts and community venues for a raft of activities, including recreation, education and celebration.
Pools opening on Wednesday 3 June include:
Papatoetoe Centennial Pools, Albany Stadium Pool, Glenfield Pool and Leisure Centre, Lloyd Elsmore Pool and Leisure Centre, Manurewa Pool and Leisure Centre, Stanmore Bay Pool and Leisure Centre, Takapuna Pool and Leisure Centre, Tepid Baths and West Wave Pool and Leisure Centre.
We will also reopen the Beach Haven Sports Centres and ActivZone in Glenfield.
Moana-Nui-a-Kiwa Pool and Leisure Centre is expected to reopen from Saturday 6 June.
The pools at Birkenhead and Otara will remain closed, however we are working closely with members and sporting groups to find alternative solutions.
Community venues for hire opening from Tuesday 2 June include:
Te Atatū South Community Centre, Helensville War Memorial Hall, Tāmaki Ex-Services Association Hall, Old Central School Hall, Orewa Community Centre, Smiths Avenue Clubrooms, Clevedon Community Hall, Western Springs Garden Hall/s, Wiri Community Hall, Papatoetoe Town Hall and Fencible Lounge.
Our venues for hire teams are working closely with Local Boards and other users of our venues for hire to best adapt and meet the needs of our community.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff welcomed the reopening.
“It’s great to see more of Auckland’s libraries, pools and community venues reopening after the lockdown and a sense of normality starting to return to the city,” he says.
“These facilities are normally used by hundreds of thousands of Aucklanders each week and contribute to Aucklanders’ enjoyment of our city and its vibrancy.
“There will be strict guidelines around physical distancing and hygiene while enjoying council venues to lessen the risk of future community transmission of COVID-19.”
Auckland Council chief executive Stephen Town says the council has worked hard to reopen its pools responsibly and safely in an environment where water restrictions are in place and health and safety remains a top priority.
“This is a fine balance,” says Mr Town. “Our communities love our pools and we have partners and user groups who rely on our facilities to be open so that they can continue to operate their own organisations and businesses.
Mr Town says the council is ensuring pools can reopen for exercise while also playing its part to help Auckland’s water conservation efforts.
"This means that when people do go to one of our pools, they will see some changes. Firstly, we will only be opening lap and dive pools for training and exercise, and those pools designed for leisure and play will remain closed, as will the showers in our changing rooms.
“There will also be some changes to our opening hours and people will need to continue to maintain safe social distancing, even while in the water.
“We’re also asking Aucklanders to help us in our water saving efforts by wearing appropriate swim wear, including swim caps, and, where possible, not wearing outdoor footwear poolside.
“This will help improve the water quality and reduce the need for poolside areas to be washed down.”
Mr Town says the council will continue to keep a close eye on Auckland’s water situation and will adapt and respond accordingly.
Libraries to open from 2 June
Meanwhile, from next Tuesday, 2 June, all of the 55 libraries in Auckland Council’s network will be open to the public.
“We know people love our libraries and have been very keen to see all of them reopened under Alert Level 2, so we know this will be welcome news for communities right throughout the Auckland region,” says Mr Town.
“In addition, we’re opening a second phase of 11 community venues for hire from next week, Tuesday 2 June.
“This brings the total number of council-run venues reopened to 33 with over 100 additional community partner venues also open across Auckland. More council-run venues will be reopened each week between now and July.”