Manawatū District Council addressing Makino Aquatic Centre challenges

Manawatū District Council’s Makino Aquatic Centre has been facing some challenges in recent times that is having an impact on customers. Some of these challenges relate to staff shortages, whilst others relate to unexpected maintenance at the facility.

Nationally, there’s a shortage of qualified lifeguards, that is having an impact on aquatic services across the country. The Makino Aquatic Centre is no different and has been impacted by staff retention and recruitment. As with many businesses , COVID-19 and seasonal bugs has meant that sometimes we didn’t have the necessary staffing levels to run the facility safely at full capacity, which led to either reduced hours or service.

The Makino team have also been sadly impacted by the sudden and tragic passing of a senior colleague earlier in the year and many are feeling the effect of this loss.

In an attempt to address some of the issues around staffing, a new staff structure and roster has been created which aims to maximise the availability of staff. It has meant a reduction in our opening hours on weekends, but the new roster and structure means we are less likely to need to close to the public at short notice over the winter period. The intention is that opening hours in weekends will resume to normal as new staff are recruited and trained.

On top of this there have been ongoing issues with fluctuating pool temperatures and shower facilities. Some customers may have noticed that we’ve recently installed a new hot water system and piping for the showers, which means that hot showers will now consistently be available.

There has been ongoing issues with pool temperature fluctuations and the team has been working closely with the pool heating contractor to mitigate the possible causes. Potential reasons for the temperature fluctuations have been identified and some equipment has been replaced, but we have also commissioned an assessment of the facility in June in an attempt to have confidence that the issues has been resolved or that we have plans in place to complete any additional work required.

We apologise to the community for the impacts to service. It is frustrating for our customers and staff and our team is working systematically to find solutions to the issues identified. We thank you for the support we have received from the community and for your patience during this time.

We’ll keep people updated with developments via signage at the Makino, the MDC website, the Makino website and through our various social media channels.