Apollo Makes a Splash in Gisborne!
Kiwa Pools was given a warm Tairāwhiti welcome with two special ceremonies signifying the official opening of the new complex on Wednesday.
A pre-dawn blessing and karakia whakawātea to clear the path of the new building was undertaken by tangata whenua, and attended by students and those closely connected to the project.
Later in the morning around 500 people from every generation gathered for the pōwhiri and ribbon cutting to officially open the building.
Guests included 300 school children from kura around Gisborne who provided supporting waita during the ceremony, led by Papa Pura.
Comments expressed in the whai kōrero by Taharakau Stewart of Rongowhakaata and Sir Derek Lardelli were reinforced by former Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon who also spoke in Te Reo. Their messages were that despite the challenges we’ve had -- with Covid, Cyclone Gabrielle and other severe weather events -- what we have here with Kiwa Pools shows our true colours, and despite adversity, we’ve shown how a community can work together to get a result like this. Mayor Rehette Stoltz says Kiwa Pools is a place where lots of love and laughter will be shared. “Our community deserves a complex like this, where we can relax, swim and play together. “Where we can all come together as a community to recharge our batteries, this will be our charging station.”
Apollo Director, Paul Lloyd, says over the 22 years they’ve been in business the company has completed hundreds of projects.
“Every project has a story to tell. This project won’t just leave a story but a legacy, and not just on your community but with Apollo, and also personally with me and my wife... I remember the first meeting with Sir Derek Lardelli and Lady Rose, where he told me Kiwa Pools is not a place people come to swim, it will be a place where people come to learn.”
Mr Lloyd acknowledged the leadership of Gisborne District Council to ensure and demand this was a co-designed project with tangata whenua.
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