Wellington white water white elephant proposed

Another bludging white water event centre is being mooted – this time in Wellington.

Nobody needs these stupid centres and internationally nobody uses them. Former white water facilities that were built for Olympic events are basically overgrown with weeds and unused.

Stands at Kayaking venue at the Helliniko Olympic Complex, Athens, the water course is drained and abandoned

Stands at Kayaking venue at the Helliniko Olympic Complex, Athens, the water course is drained and abandoned

A $7 million whitewater park could be in the pipeline for Wellington, with a proposal that could turn the capital into a mecca for river sports enthusiasts.

The multipurpose Wellington Rapid River park is the brainchild of kayaker and inventor Timon Maxey, who will pitch it to Wellington City Council next week.   

As construction of the $40m Wero whitewater rafting complex in Auckland gets under way, and a similar proposal is being considered for Christchurch, Maxey will look to secure $50,000 in funding for a feasibility study.

Timon Maxey’s proposed $7m dollar Wellington Rapid River project.

The aquatic playground would be a genuine tourist attraction in a city that lacks visitor pulling power. Maxey believes it would appeal to all ages, as well as the domestic recreational market, tourists and national and international river sports athletes.

“This project would lead to increased visitor numbers, longer duration stays and more income for retail and hospitality.”

Wellington should take note of the excessive waste being spent in Auckland to build one of these white elephants.

The proof will be in the pudding once it is up and running for a few years and the critics have all said it will lose bucket loads of money.

But sensibilities please. We live in a country filled with rivers that rage with White water.

Why on earth will white water rafters and kayakers use a facility like this when we have an abundance of rivers they can use for free. Really – some people are just stupid.


– Fairfax

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