Ramp Date Fixed

How the new ramp will look when installed
How the new ramp will look when installed

Council announces date for long-awaited pool ramp

By Alan Tristram

After months of controversy and delays, the Kapiti Coast District Council (KCDC) has just announced a date for the opening of the ramp at the new Aquatic Centre in Paraparaumu.

The KCDC says it will be installed with an appropriate ceremony on 7 February, 2014.

Earlier in the week, a senior national figure in the disability field refused to accept the Council’s explanation for the delay in installing the ramp at the new Kapiti Aquatic Centre. (Original plans included a ramp to be installed at the pool for the opening in August)

Paul Curry, president of the Wellington Paraplegic and Physically Disabled Trust Board, said REACT ( Ramp Equal Action Coalition Team ) wanted action immediately at the Coastlands Aquatic Centre in Paraparaumu.

He said that, unless the Kapiti Council acted now, disabled children — and others–  would suffer during the coming holiday period.

Soon afterwards, the council released an architect’s report explaining  the delays thus:

“Architecture HDT, Ltd says the ramp being constructed for the main pool at Coastlands Aquatic Centre is a complex design and build  project requiring fibreglass and metalwork contractors to bring their particular expertise to the detailed design of the ramp components.

“The complexity of the fibreglass structural design and the short supply of fibreglass components has required the contractor to outsource the structural design and construction of the fibreglass panels to a specialist Christchurch company.   This has resulted in some unforeseen delays.

“Further, it was originally thought that off-the-shelf components could be modified, but because of the harsh pool environment and the fact the  ramp components need to fit together exactly, they have to be custom-made.  This has meant that construction has  taken longer than expected.”

And it assured the public the design and construction teams wewre doing their best to deliver the new ramp as soon as possible.

The whole sorry saga around the aquatic centre ramp is bad enough. Initially in then out then back in but additional cost despite the cost being in the original estimates and extensive involvement by the relevant stakeholders. This requires a thorough review of the process to establish what really happened and what went so badly wrong. What savings and omissions were made by whom and when and where communication broke down and who was responsible and what action is being taken to learn from these failures.

The real issue for Council is their continuing failure to communicate effectively and be timely. When challenged Council’s response is aggressive and defensive. The Council culture urgently needs to change dramatically if they wish to regain any respect from the community.

Come on Ross Church, live up to your election promises for an open and transparent leadership, starting with you and your management team. Lets see some leadership by example.

Interesting your contacts details are omitted from the KCDC website? So much for being available and listening to the community. No one I have spoken to has seen you being available in the Council foyer as promised during your election campaign.
Your latest suggestion of restricting public speaking at Council meetings to agenda items is yet again another attempt to muzzle the community and again contrary to your election promises of people before process.

Perhaps we need a community score card of your election promise failures; all this within the first couple of months in office and we have another 2-3 years to go! UGH.

The Group Manager Community Services and Deputy CEO’s comment that her interpretation of the legislative requirements differed from others is arrogant. What are her legal qualifications and justifications for making such a comment?