Splash Planet will be closing after Waitangi weekend, rather than reducing to weekends only as a result of staff shortages.
Initially scheduled to be operating seven days a week to February 6, and then weekends only until March 26, the facility will this year close for the season from 5.30pm, Monday, February 6 due to the impacts of labour shortages affecting the region and the country.
Hastings District Council chief executive Nigel Bickle said it was a very disappointing decision to have to make, but a necessary one given the need for qualified staff for health and safety, and to provide a quality customer experience.
“We know this is really disappointing for our community for whom Splash Planet is synonymous with summer fun, and gives much enjoyment to locals and visitors alike.
“Recruiting for Splash Planet has been particularly hard this season given the shortage of labour across Hawke’s Bay.
“We have been managing as best we can by deploying staff from our other aquatic facilities, but with a large proportion of staff from all our pools going back to university and school from next week, or taking up other jobs, we don’t have enough people to cover the shortfall.”
Mr Bickle said efforts to find more staff had continued throughout the season since Splash Planet opened, but applications had been lower than previous seasons despite best efforts to promote the positions.
“This is a very disappointing decision for us to make as a council, but one we can’t avoid. We do encourage people to make the most of our other aquatic facilities – the other seasonal pools we run, including the outdoor pools at Havelock North and Frimley.”
Any staff, who were not coming to the end of their contract with Splash Planet or leaving, would be, where suitable, redeployed to the summer pools.
More information, including questions about ticketing, can be found at on the Splash Planet website.
27 January 2023
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