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Pools and Leisure
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Alert Level 2 - FAQs

Updated 27 May 2020

I thought that we weren’t opening the pools because of the drought, why are we opening them now?

  • Since the country moved to Alert Level 2, we have been working hard on how we open our council owned and operated pools responsibly and safely in the current environment. This includes the current health and safety requirements due to COVID-19 and Auckland’s water restrictions caused by the current drought conditions.
  • This is a fine balance. Our communities love our pools and we have partners and user groups who rely on our facilities to be open in what is currently a tough economic environment.
  • We do, however, recognise that the water restrictions are having an impact on many Auckland businesses. Along with Watercare, Auckland Council is doing what it can do to support them and ensure they have access to non-potable water sources so that they, too, can continue to operate at a challenging time.
  • Having worked through this carefully over the last fortnight, we believe we can reopen our pools in a way that keeps our communities safe and will minimise our water usage.

 

When will pools reopen?

  • The decision has been made to reopen the majority of our pools and leisure centres from Wednesday 3 June.
  • This includes Papatoetoe Centennial Pools, Albany Stadium Pool, Glenfield Pool and Leisure Centre, Lloyd Elsmore Pool and Leisure Centre, Manurewa Pool and Leisure Centre, Stanmore Bay Pool and Leisure Centre, Takapuna Pool and Leisure Centre, Tepid Baths and West Wave Pool and Leisure Centre. We will also reopen the Beach Haven Sports Centres and ActivZone in Glenfield.
  • Moana-Nui-a-Kiwa Pool and Leisure Centre is expected to reopen from Saturday 6 June.
  • Birkenhead and Ōtara pool and leisure centres will remain closed until further notice due to staffing challenges.
  • When we reopen the pools it will be for lane swimming and water-walking only as part of our social distancing and water conservation efforts
  • Spa pools will be open at some sites if they are large enough to allow for good social distancing to take place.  Please visit aucklandleisure.co.nz to check your location.
  • Some services, such as saunas and steam rooms remain closed until further notice 
  • Auckland Council learn to swim programmes are due to reopen at the start of Term 3. 
  • Summary of Auckland Council pools opening dates and operating hours: Please click here

 

Are we still in a drought?

Yes, and this what we are doing to help conserve water:

  • Showers in the aquatic changing rooms will be closed. Customers will be asked to shower at home.
  • Opening and opening times may have changed, please visit aucklandleisure.co.nz to check times at your location.
  • Reopened pools will be for lane swimming and water-walking only as part of our social distancing and water conservation efforts.

Once our pools have reopened, we will continue to keep a close eye on Auckland’s water situation and will respond accordingly. 

 I’m worried about going in the pools because of COVID-19, how many people will be allowed in the pool?

Each pool facility is managing the number of customers allowed in the water at one time to ensure appropriate physical distancing. There will be signage at each site or speak to our staff for more information. We appreciate your cooperation. 

I’m worried about going in the pools because of COVID-19, how will you keep the pools clean?

We have enhanced cleaning procedures and the appropriate safety measures in place to ensure the wellbeing of our customers and staff.

The pools have been shut for a long time, have you cleaned them?

We have taken this time to ensure we have enhanced cleaning procedures and the appropriate safety measures in place to ensure the wellbeing of our customers and staff.

I have a Swim it membership but the services are reduced, will I get a discount on my membership?

We have taken the step to discount Swim it memberships by 10% until further notice. If customers choose not to come back straight away for any reason, then they are welcome to request an extra four-week membership suspension.

Why did you not open gyms until Thursday 21 May?

We have taken a staged approach to re-opening facilities across Tāmaki Makaurau during Alert Level 2, keeping the health, safety and wellbeing of our people and customers as our top priority. 

When did Kauri Kids and OSCAR reopen?

Early childhood education centres (Kauri Kids) and Out of School Care (OSCAR) programmes reopened from Monday 18 May. 

When will term programmes and sports leagues start up again?  

From 12 noon Friday 29 May, gatherings can be held with up to 100 people. So, we will be reviewing our recreation programme and sports leagues offering and look forward to updating customers soon.

We also have some of our workforce who fall into the vulnerable category, so some of our services are reduced over the coming weeks due to staffing levels.

When will venue hire be available?

With the increase in gathering size announced, we are reviewing our venue hire procedures (this includes the capacity of all of our spaces in line with physical distancing requirements). We look forward to updating our customers soon.

Will you be holding group fitness classes?

Yes, selected group fitness classes will resume with a reduced timetable from Tuesday 2 June. Class timetables will be available on our website aucklandleisure.co.nz.  

Can I join the gym when you open?

We will continue to monitor our facilities and when we are confident we have capacity in our centres to extend numbers safely, we’ll open up to new members.

How are you supporting older people in the communities?

We are continuing to provide gentle exercise sessions via our Facebook page and website three times per week for our older communities. We are offering membership suspensions for customers who are unable to return just yet. 

What measures have you put in place to keep us safe?

We are following the Ministry of Health guidelines and, where applicable, Ministry of Education, Sport NZ and Exercise NZ guidelines and frameworks throughout our facilities. You'll see staff cleaning regularly and we have enhanced cleaning procedures throughout our network. Timetables have been changed and we are asking members to clean their equipment after use and every class; time has been allowed for this. Please bring your own water bottle from home; you will be able to refill your bottle from the drinking fountain but not drink from it directly.

Customers can request a copy of our Safety plan by contacting the Centre Manager of the facility. 

How do I know the place is clean?

We have put enhanced cleaning procedures in place.

How are you managing the number of people on site?

We are working to the government guidelines around gathering size and importantly to maintain appropriate spacing between people. Facility areas will have maximum capacities of up to 100 people based on our ability to keep people distanced and safe. We will be keeping a close eye on it and if we are nearing capacity, we will slow down the entry of members to the spaces. The maximum time a member can spend on site is two hours, and we ask that everyone be respectful and not monopolise the equipment, so everyone has fair access.

We will continue to monitor our facilities and when we are confident, we have capacity in our centres to extend numbers safely, we’ll open up to new members.

Why are you asking members to shower at home?

Our bathrooms and changing rooms will be open in most places. Showers will be available for members that need to go straight to work from the centre, however aquatic changing room showers are closed so you will need to speak with a staff member if you need to access a shower after a swim. We are limiting access to showers to support water conservation. Please shower at home if you can.

Why do we have to bring our own towel, we never used to bring one?

Bringing a towel always been part of our gym rules and going forward we will be strictly enforcing this.

What if I can’t come back to the gym because of my health, or if I’m just worried?

Members who do not feel they can return straight away are welcome to extend for another 4-week period. Direct debits will be turned on from Monday 25 May 2020.

Move it memberships will have their direct debit payments turned on from Tuesday 2 June and Swim it memberships as the pools reopen. If any customer wishes to suspend their membership, please get in touch with the centre. Contact details and pool opening hours are on our website.

What is non-potable water?

Non-potable water is water that is not of drinking quality but may still be used for many other purposes.

What staff challenges are you having?

During the extended lockdown period a number of staff left the organisation and due to uncertainties around alert level timings and COVID-19 restrictions were not replaced. We also have a number of staff that fall in the vulnerable category, so we are currently working through these operational constraints to reopen our services in a safe way.

Due to the Covid-19 protocols we are also using additional staff to perform extra cleaning and helping customers with contact tracing which is putting further pressure on our facilities.

How are we managing contact tracing?

Contact tracing will be managed in a couple of ways. All visitors and contractors to our Council run centres will be required to check in using the Virtual check in by scanning the QR code using your phones camera and filling in the details. Members with cards will still be required to swipe their membership card so we can identify the part of the facility you accessed. 

We recommend you allow an extra few minutes at the start of your visit to allow for these new protocols. 

Data will be kept for 60 days, this is so Auckland Council can provide the necessary data to Ministry of Health when and if required. 

I have lost my job and can’t afford my membership any longer. Will there be penalty charges? 

No. We appreciate this is a difficult time for many Aucklanders. If you wish to cancel your membership there will be no cancellation charges (if you joined during a promotional period) and the 10-day notice period will be waived. Please note, if you request your cancellation in the 2 days prior to your direct debit being due then it may still process. Your cancellation will take effect as soon as we are able to process it.