Naenae locals back change at election
Naenae is a vibrant and resilient community, but the closure of Naenae Pool in April this year has been a big blow for a community already struggling to get by. This closure comes after a number of other facilities have been uprooted from the community.
Local business owner Heidi says the community was already struggling before the Pool’s closure.
“Naenae functions so well, however these recent facility closures have severely hurt this community. When people come to use our facilities, they also buy from our local businesses. These closures now mean many of our regular customers are now spending their money elsewhere. These customers came because spending time at the Pool was part of their routine. Without the pool, their main purpose of visiting our Village is gone.”
The Pool had up to 450,000 visits every year. But those visits came to an abrupt end in April this year, after Council announced the Pool’s immediate closure after an engineering report found the building was under 34% of New Building Standard.
Instead of working alongside the community to find a solution, the Council closed down the Pool as a matter of urgency — leaving surrounding businesses in the lurch and struggling to make ends meet.
Naenae resident Fleur says the community were kept in the dark while decisions were made behind closed doors, and now the village and local businesses are starting to suffer.
“While a rebuild is not going to happen overnight, by the time it’s complete I doubt whether we’ll have any retailers left.”
While Council communication throughout the closure was lacking, Heidi says that there was one notable exception.
“Campbell Barry was the first Councilor to come to Naenae to truly speak to us. Campbell listened and asked questions. He didn’t give us empty promises — the kind that has been made under the current Mayor’s watch, which are simply not good enough.”
“Campbell acknowledged the devastating impact the Pool’s closure has had on the Naenae Community, including my own business.
Campbell’s leadership on this issue has been welcomed by local business owners and the community. Heidi has renewed hope for the future of Naenae with Campbell’s leadership on Council and in the Mayoralty race.
“Campbell stuck his neck out for Naenae when no one else would. He has engaged with the community. He stood up to Council when it mattered most. It speaks volumes about his transparency, honesty, and integrity. From everyone I’ve spoken to in Naenae, we have got his back.”
Fleur has also noticed a mood for change.
“Our community is starting to take notice of the current Council’s complacency. We want to see some new blood on Council with Campbell as Mayor. I only hope everyone else in Naenae also expresses their frustrations on the voting papers.”
“I will be proud to elect Campbell as the next Mayor of Hutt City,” Fleur says.