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KCDC rethink pool ramp
May 2013

An initial design for a removable ramp for the Coastlands Aquatic Centre's main pool is under way.
This follows approval in principle this week by the Dutch company supplying the moveable floor, VarioPool, for Council to get a ramp designed locally.
However, the ramp's design must be approved by VarioPool before it will guarantee it would not void aspects of the warranty.
Council is hoping to get an initial concept for a removable ramp within a couple of weeks.
Group Manager Community Services Tamsin Evans says a lot of focus is being put on resolving concerns about the access to the main pool.
Previous advice to Council has been that a removable ramp is not possible with the moveable floor.
In response to further pressure from Council, VarioPool has reconfirmed it considers a removable ramp is technically and operationally unworkable. However, they agreed to review a local design that could be manufactured in New Zealand.
Meanwhile, Council is pursuing custom designed stairs for the main pool, which should be in place when the centre opens. This is in addition to standard pool ladders, user operated and staff assisted hoists.
Design of the stairs and a removable ramp will be undertaken in consultation with the Disability Reference Group as well other interested parties.
"We're encouraged that we can explore designing a removable ramp but are aware it may still prove not workable," says Ms Evans.
"We're confident that the options we are providing mean the Coastlands Aquatic Centre will be a facility everyone can enjoy," says Ms Evans.

 
Comments
Erica Cooney (added 232 weeks ago)
Council’s latest Press Release is nothing to get excited about as they say a ramp “may still prove not workable”. However both a moveable floor and ramp have always been possible. The council are still trying to ‘sell’ “accessible stairs” (apparently having already purchased these) despite the elderly and disabled telling them since January that stairs are not accessible, nor acceptable. The council advertisements continue to say that the Centre is for people of “all abilities” when it clearly isn’t. There are no grab rails despite most the pool being nearly 8 feet deep with nothing decent to hold onto for support. The community needs to be aware that council’s record of ‘spin’ speaks volumes. This is the same as we were told in January that the Centre was “designed with disabled users in mind” and that they had listened, when in fact council had broken their promises, failed to provide basic accessibility requirements of a ramp and poolside grab-rails -instead relegating most disabled users to a small portion of the learners’/children’s’ pool. The council said they searched internationally for a suitable ramp and now say it could possibly be made locally! The fact is Variopool make integrated ramps for moveable floors, H2O Innovations make moveable ramps for pools with moveable floors, and Myrtha pools can have poolside grab-rails. This Centre can cater for virtually everyone in our community. If it opens without these basic requirements which everyone can use (disabled or not) then it will be proof that this council has not listened or met people’s fundamental rights of equity in accessibility despite years of so called ‘consultation’. Regardless of the past however, – if council demonstrate - without reservation genuine acknowledgement of and commitment to resolving these accessibility and usability issues, then of course we would be keen to work with them on finding the best solutions and achieving the best outcome.
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