Aquatic Centre Management Decision

15 December 2017

Full interview by media with Mayor Steve Chadwick and CE Geoff Williams following hikoi to council.

Click on image below to view video:


8 December 2017 

Firm opportunities for majority of Rotorua Aquatic Centre staff

The majority of Rotorua Aquatic Centre staff now have options for employment with Community Leisure Management (CLM) which is to manage the facility on behalf of Rotorua Lakes Council.

“When Council made the decision last month to partner with CLM they were very clear they wanted us to ensure that we looked after staff, and that we did all that we could to provide new employment and/or redeployment opportunities,” Rotorua Lakes Council Sport and Recreation Manager Rob Pitkethley says.

“We’ve been working hard with the staff, their union and CLM to achieve this while also negotiating the partnership contract and there have been some very tough conversations, as would be expected when implementing a change like this. However we’ve seen a hugely positive response and commitment from CLM to our staff and as a result now have firm options of employment, with CLM, for 36 of the 38 permanent staff, at the same pay and on similar conditions.”

All 28 lifeguards and swim tutors received job options with CLM last week.

As of today 8 of 10 remaining staff – duty managers, supervisors, administration and front-of-house staff – also have firm options for employment with CLM.

“We’re committed to continuing to work with CLM and the remaining two staff members to see what options may exist for them. We’re also continuing negotiations with all parties to finalise terms and conditions for the CLM roles which have already been offered,” Mr Pitkethley says.

“We expect some staff will ultimately opt for voluntary redundancy – a few have already indicated they wish to do that – but we’re very pleased the majority have the opportunity for continued roles at the centre with CLM. Like CLM, we believe continuity of service is important and value the skills, experience and local knowledge of our existing staff.

“We are disappointed about inaccurate information that has been circulated publicly but we continue to work through this process in good faith. Our focus has been on finding the best possible outcome for all 38 staff at the centre and we’re very pleased with the positive response from CLM.”

All staff now have time to consider their options and make a decision. They will be retained on the council payroll until the end of January next year when the change in management is expected to take effect.

“CLM is a very experienced pool operator with an outstanding record of working with the communities it operates in,” Mr Pitkethley says. “They will improve and extend the service offered by the Aquatic Centre, will save the Council up to $700,000 every year and through this changeover process are also demonstrating the potential to be an excellent employer.”  


  • Council is required, under Section 17a of the Local Government Act, to review services at least every six years to ensure ongoing efficiency and effectiveness of services. The Aquatic Centre review included looking at current management of the facility and consideration of alternative management options. The review included interviews with staff at the centre.

  • Council made a decision last month to partner with CLM for management of the centre. Council retains ownership and control of the community outcomes sought from the services and programmes run at the centre. CLM will deliver on these outcomes.

  • The partnership is expected to result in improved outcomes for the community through new and extended programmes and initiatives. It will also provide savings for council of up to $700,000 per year (being the difference between how much it was costing council to run the centre in-house and the cost of contracting CLM to manage it).

  • CLM will seek to increase revenue through increased use of the facility as a result of improved and expanded services and programmes.

  • All current services and programmes will continue and there will be no change in fees with the changeover.

  • Council dealt with the matter in confidential so Aquatic Centre staff could be notified first, to protect staff’s privacy and due to the commercial nature of matters discussed.

About Community Leisure Management Limited (CLM)

  • The company has 22 years’ experience and manages 27 facilities across the country, notably in South Auckland where it works to support and build capability of communities in need.
  • Has committed to delivering and expanding agreed community outcomes, conduct regular needs analysis, analysis of local perceptions and hold annual user group meetings.
  • CLM has achieved the highest level of ACC accreditation for workplace safety management.
  • CLM will look to expand the Aquatic Centre’s role and activities offered which it expects will lead to more jobs. It will also provide work experience for local youth.
  • Interested in being a partner to invest in the facility eg in Palmerston North CLM partnered with a hydro slide business, resulting in new activities at no cost to the local council.
  • Find out more about CLM here

About the Rotorua Aquatic Centre

  • Opened 1975, more facilities added 1988 and 2004 – no substantial investment since;
  • About 350,000 visits per year;
  • Hosts swimming, waterpolo and underwater hockey competitions; delivers learn to swim and water safety programmes to public and schools.

Previous updates and information:

4 December 2017
Redundancy last resort for Aquatic Centre Staff. 
Read more

30 November 2017
Job opportunities sought for Aquatic Centre Staff.
Read more

23 November 2017
Council to partner with Community Leisure Management to run Aquatic Centre.
Read more

18 October 2017
Review considers potential benefits of contracting external managers.
Read more

Page reviewed: 15 Dec 2017 3:39pm